Pedicatric Cancer Research Foundation “Reaching for the Cure”

“One person can make a difference and everyone should try.” –John F. Kennedy

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) has grown from being an organization operating out of a CHOC closet space to an internationally recognized powerhouse in raising funds to combat childhood cancer.

PCRF has recently celebrated 30 years of funding research where they are on a journey to see childhood cancer become completely curable.  According to PCRF’s website “each year cancer kills more children and adolescents than any other disease.”

Image: PCRF
Image: PCRF, Reaching for the Cure event

 

At the core the foundation is made up of an ever growing family of staff, researchers, partners and volunteers who are bonded with love and a similar vision.  What makes the foundation unique is having that love funneled directly into raising funds for effective research taking place in New York, Los Angeles etc.

You too can be a part of the PCRF family by participating in the newly named “Reaching for the Cure” half marathon including a 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk, 1K Kids’ Run & Bike Tour on Cinco De Mayo weekend.  The event takes place in the Irvine Spectrum area in Orange County, CA.

It is not too late to register for the event in person at the packet pick-up or at the race site the day of.  For info on how to do so, please click here to visit the FAQ page.

To make a general donation to this 501(c)3 foundation to support this event, click here.

 

Don’t miss the fun photo booth or memories to be be shared with loved ones while making a positive difference.  Join PCRF in reaching for the cure during Cinco de Mayo weekend!

International Dance Day

Happy International Dance Day!

I think that just like any sport an art form can require consistent discipline in developing your craft.  Every day is an opportunity to give your imagination a workout or find something that inspires you.

The video of rhythmic gymnastics featuring Boyanka Angelova from Bulgaria that has been shared across social media recently is a reminder of the great potential one can reach with practice within your realm of believability.

Her routine captivated my interest in finding out more about rhythmic gymnastics.  Rebecca Sereda states “it incorporates ballet, gymnastics, and dance, so we have to put all those things together. We train for so many hours, but people think we’re just dancing with ribbons on the carpet.”  To read that interview from buzzfeed click here.

Another blending of “ballet, gymnastics and dance” is showcased in this Macy’s Stars of dance performance on a “Dancing with the Stars” results show.  It seems that a trend in dance is requiring more and more athleticism and physical strength with the lifts and gymnastics being incorporated in.  This dance intertwines the beauty of art starring Tiler Peck, Nuttin’ But Stringz, Travis Wall and many recognizable faces from Shaping Sound and “SYTYCD.”

Films that Inspire: “Home Run” and “Not Today”

Two films “Home Run” and “Not Today” that inspire and challenge to make a difference have something in common—they prove you don’t always have to have a big budget to reach the audience.  At the core of both of these movies are the authentic relationships that we can all identify with.  First, there is the human spirit to survive in truth and second that we all are broken in some way.

Home Run: A broken man haunted by his past finds the path to healthy healing in dealing with his “hurts, hang-ups, and habits.”  Cory Brand, appears to have it all with his identity fused with his fame and fortune in a baseball career. However, his life in the fast lane is given a truth wake-up call to face the relationships he left behind in Oklahoma.

The film breathes a realistic element in showing relationships in the process of healing that are not perfect.  I liked the connection with Cory and his son that is handled with touches of betrayal and the same need for acceptance he never got from his father.

Cory begins to work through his arrogant attitude, alcohol, anger and the artificial allurement of baseball stardom through a program called Celebrate Recovery.  The healing process is not immediate.  Cory finds that he must surrender all in order for the transformation to begin.

As in real life, there are moments of light and laughter too.  Look out for the endearing moments with his son’s baseball team Cory ends up coaching.

For more information about the program Celebrate Recovery visit http://www.celebraterecovery.com

Similarly, the movie “Not Today” focuses on how freedom from what haunts you is available through an inside out transformation.  Cory was haunted by the voice of his father and the character of Caden Welles in “Not Today” is haunted by guilt of not helping a man and his daughter in India.

Not Today: Caden goes from looking for fun and self-fulfillment in the United States to experiencing fear and search for faith in India.  His worldview is opened to recognize how other people live.  Human trafficking, poverty and a struggle to live through a single day are ever present where all you have is each other.

The love between Kiran and his daughter Annika pull on your heartstrings where love conquers all. Caden undergoes a metamorphosis when separated from the comfort of his family, friends, home and material possessions.  His choice to help Kiran find his daughter that was sold sets him on a path of redemption.

The film’s unique subtitles for some conversations in India and shaky camera shots might throw the audience for a surprise compared to a more slick and polished look of a big budget film.  However, this challenge to pay extra attention to camera shots is intentional.

The film challenges us to grow by making the audience feel uncomfortable.  This discomfort is achieved through the graphic visual of children being bought and sold as slaves and the ultimate pain of a father selling his own daughter so that she could eat.

At the end of the film the actors talk about ways everyone can make a positive difference with human trafficking.  Visit the film’s website to meet the challenge.  http://www.nottodayresources.com/

I like to applaud the producers and those connected with these films who had the vision to tell stories of truth and authenticity.  Whether you are in Oklahoma or India brokenness can be found anywhere.  There are no boundaries when it comes to searching for truth and healing.  Catch these two films when you can with their limited theater run.

“42”-Jackie Robinson, American Hero

The film “42” brings to life the story of Jackie Robinson and his journey to become the first African American baseball player breaking the “color line” out in theaters this past Friday.

However, “42” goes beyond baseball to the epicenter of American character in valuing justice, perseverance and freedom shown through Robinson.

Robinson is a hero emerging from a time where history was primed for a stable recognition of humanity.  His heroic status is a double win for sports in athleticism and prejudice as a sociopolitical symbol nodding to both the past and inevitable future.

A quote that remains suspended in my memory is from Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey.  “Like our savior you have to have the guts to not fight back.”

Robinson’s humble yet fighting spirit bursts through the grins injecting humor into tense moments.  His shuffling movement before stealing a base showcases an animal like trickster glint of mischief.  The tender moments with his wife highlights gentleness.  It is this likability that allows the ferociousness of emotion that bellows out of Robinson after an encounter with Ben Chapman to have such an impact on the audience.

The scene with Robinson responding to the stinging taunts in the tunnel is beautifully shot and something to look out for.

It is here that I think Robinson in the movie’s script fulfills the label of hero in recognizing his potential to show courage by not retaliating in violence and owning his character.  He refuses to be victim to circumstance and chooses true freedom.  This hero in the film is not absence of emotion and shows real frustration that does not deny the hurricane of feelings unleashed in a private arena.

Finding the light amongst the dark or the other way around can be a trick for an actor to have in their back pocket.  Like a two sided coin flipping the focus of intensity allows moments of one experience to shine against the backdrop of the contrasting feeling or situation.   The dichotomy offers the audience a hidden richness.  The layering of thoughts makes that one look from pitcher to batter a silent conversation worth watching.

The heroes and villains that are chosen by people can be a reflection of the core beliefs, worldviews, and prejudices.  Heroes give people something to root for, believe in, and use as role models expressing the inner soul’s needs and emotions on a scale that is healthy and relevant.  An American hero can emerge from those that are rooted in history, truth, and real existence and those that come out of entertainment.

This movie “42” is a blend of real existence and entertainment with a hero to root for.  See the legend of Jackie Robinson in theaters now.

News of the praiseworthy movie is traveling fast.  Check out stories put out by Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”-Mary Anne Radmacher