Running to Remember: A Family’s Fight Against Stomach Cancer

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you with a heartfelt request for your support. My name is Chris Gomez, and I want to share my personal story and commitment to the mission of Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF).

On December 12, 2020, my mother, Cristina Gomez, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Alongside my father, Wilson, and my younger brother, Gabe, we became her dedicated caregivers throughout her courageous battle. Unfortunately, after thirteen gruesome months, she passed away on January 17, 2022. The journey was tough, but we find solace in knowing that my mother is now resting in Heaven, patiently awaiting our reunion. This experience has taught me invaluable life lessons, making me more grateful and resilient.

During those challenging months, we were fortunate to discover DDF, which provided us with an incredible range of resources. From informative booklets and phone calls with survivors to Zoom meetings with doctors and fellow stomach cancer warriors, DDF was an unwavering source of support. They even helped us with financial assistance for groceries. I feel blessed to have found such an exceptional group of people and invaluable information during our family’s time of need. Now, I am determined to give back to this extraordinary organization that has provided us with unparalleled help and guidance.

In the spirit of gratitude and support, I have committed to running both the Rocky Run (10 miles) on November 11, 2023, and the Philadelphia Full Marathon on November 18, 2023. Over the next several months, my goal is to raise as much money as possible for DDF. If you know of others in the Philadelphia area who would like to join me in this endeavor, please let me know, and I will reach out to them as well.

My brother, Gabe, and I have a deep-rooted passion for soccer. We played at a high level throughout our lives, even representing the U.S. Youth National Teams, Philadelphia Union Youth Academy, and Players Development Academy (PDA). Soccer taught us discipline and teamwork, shaping us into resilient individuals. Additionally, we both currently work at Fidelity Investments and prioritize fitness and health to combat diseases effectively. Running these races is our way of giving back to the community that has been so profoundly impacted by stomach cancer.

November holds special significance as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, and I believe it is the perfect time to support this cause. Our dream is to eradicate stomach cancer altogether or, at the very least, ensure early detection at stage 1 for the majority of cases rather than stage 3 or 4.

My family entrusted our journey to God’s hands from the very beginning. My mother exemplified unwavering strength, optimism, and determination throughout her battle, never allowing her illness to dampen her spirits. She taught us the importance of controlling what we can and living each day to the fullest. Cristina will always be remembered for her sense of humor, contagious laugh, humility, faith, selflessness, and generosity. Her legacy of love and kindness will forever guide us.

Cristina’s greatest joy was spending time with her family and our dog. She was always the one ensuring punctuality, caring for our neighbors’ children and pets, and making sure her boys were well-fed. Her compassionate nature extended beyond our home, as she frequently donated clothes and accessories to those in need and actively participated in charitable events. Weekends were cherished moments when she enjoyed cooking for her boys, sipping her favorite red wine, and watching TV shows and movies with my father.

I am thrilled to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent DDF and its mission. It would mean the world to my family and the entire stomach cancer community if you could help spread our message through social media and other channels, enabling us to raise more funds for crucial research. Together, we can strive towards our ultimate goal of curing stomach cancer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Warm regards,

Chris, Gabe, and Wilson Gomez

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