Luis de la Vega - #StrongLikeBull
“I run for my Dad - #StrongLikeBull”
I came across a Memory today, on Facebook, a ‘selfie’ of me and my dad from 5 years ago during a trip we took to Dallas TX for my sister’s graduation. It was captioned “Did my Dad really just say, “But first...let me take a selfie”??!! And that just did it for me...it inspired me to write what I’ve been searching to say for my personal fundraising page this year and why I continue to work on behalf of ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer in supporting its mission to end prostate cancer. It’s the incredible memories I have of my dad and just how much he still means to me, and what he continues to do for me, even if I only have him now in my heart.
We lost my dad on February 22nd, 2018. I lost my rock - he was the strongest person I knew, who would take on any challenge with courage and positivity (hence his name Strong Like Bull). He was my glue - my dad just made everything better for me throughout my life and until the day he passed away. I have a flat tire? My dad would come running to help me. I wasn’t feeling well? My dad would bring my mom to Chicago to help take care of me. I was coming over to the house to care for him during his prostate cancer treatments? My dad would cook me breakfast, lunch and dinner, and send me home with the leftovers for my husband, Jeff. EVERYTHING was just better because my dad was always there. And so when we lost him to prostate cancer, I thought I lost the one person who knew me so well, who would fix everything, and just make everything better. Well, I’ve discovered that THAT is just not true….
My dad is STILL there, but now working behind-the-scenes, to still make everything better for me. He’s my angel. 2018 was rough, so much changed and so I asked my dad to help me take on the changes with the same attitude he took on challenges...Strong Like Bull. And what better way than to become my dad’s voice, bringing awareness to #EndProstateCancer through our platform we created, “I run for my Dad - #StrongLikeBull”. I’ve been running since 2015, but 2018 was the year I stepped it up! I ran more races and for greater distances, as #StrongLikeBull, all with my dad in my heart. I also took #StrongLikeBull on the road (Pensacola Beach FL Turkey Trot)! I’ve been able to build a social community around people who love our story on social media, and I’m now a ZERO Champion! As a ZERO Champion, I joined 100+ other Champions on Capitol Hill in DC in February where I shared my story about my dad to Congresswomen/men to secure $110M to support the Prostate Cancer Research Program through the Department of Defense. And finally, my dad’s example has given me the courage and strength to pursue my dreams of entrepreneurship...Rose Mills Influencer, LLC was officially born on March 22, 2019 - 1 year and 1 month to the day my dad passed away. And he’s been there behind-the-scenes helping me with questions, struggles, challenges, and finding new business success! It’s true what they say...opportunity is born out of chaos. But what they didn’t mention is that it happens when you have an angel in your corner. My dad is with me in everything I do, everything good that happens, every challenge I take on, and although not physically, always, always now in my heart. My angel. And for that, I’m grateful.
One in nine fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, partners and friends will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, including 6,990 men in Illinois this year alone. Each can fight the disease with your help. My dad fought like hell against prostate cancer. When he became too tired to fight any longer, I became his voice and his fight. And so I’m participating in the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run again this year, with Team #StrongLikeBull, and asking you to please support me and my team by making a tax-deductible contribution today to help #EndProstateCancer.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
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