Finding Out About Cancer
When the Virgen family found out that Flora had stage 4 Breast Cancer, it was time for them to come together as a family, but they also wanted to make sure their kids had support. Not knowing where to turn or even how to talk to their kids about cancer, Ariel Sr. found Walk With Sally, and after meeting with our program team, knew that this community of support for their children Fatima, Camila and Ariel, would mean that he and his wife could focus on her fight against cancer. They soon found a community of people who understood exactly what they were going through and could connect with over shared experiences.
Support Through Cancer – The Mentor Program
Early in 2017, each of the Virgen children were matched with their respective mentors. Looking back over the last 2 years Ariel Sr. has seen how the Walk With Sally program has impacted his kids, “they’ve become more positive and it shows with the smiles on their faces when they come home after an outing with their mentors.” When the diagnosis came, he didn’t know how they would help the kids, but after being a part of this program, they all now realize just how many people are dealing with the same impact of cancer at home. The support from their mentors and the entire Walk With Sally community has helped tremendously.
Each child in the Virgen family will rave about their respective mentors and their time spent together. Ariel said that “the happiest days of my life” are spent with my mentor and he’s helped him to understand what it means to “live in the moment.” His younger sister Camila has said that she and her mentor “connect so well that [she] feels like she’s talking to someone more than just a mentor, she’s family.” The bonds they have created are truly special and have helped everyone in the family realize that there are so many people out there who know what it’s like when cancer hits home.
Walk With Sally’s Community of Support
The mentor support has been one incredible piece of the Walk With Sally support structure for the Virgen Family, however that’s just it, one piece. Friendship Activities, Partner Activities and Hope For the Holidays have been additional opportunities for the entire Virgen Family to come together and create meaningful memories. Whether they were getting in the holiday spirit with ice skating at L.A. Live or enjoying the sun and sand at Surf Day, the Virgen Family has been able to connect with other families, parents and children who understand what happens when cancer hits. Ariel Sr. and Flora know that they aren’t alone in this battle and finding this community has been a true blessing for their family. Some of these activities might not otherwise be possible if it weren’t for Walk With Sally, so as a whole they feel privileged to be able to take part in these events. And we are so proud to be able to offer this type of support for families at what otherwise might be a dark time. Thanks for being a part of our community Virgen Family!
Thank you to all of our sponsors and donors who make these events possible. Without your continued support Walk With Sally would not be able to offer the vast amounts of support and opportunity that we do.