BLING FOR BRAVERY

CELEBRATING THE STRONGEST

BLING FOR BRAVERY

CELEBRATING THE STRONGEST

Riya Parikh
Leukemia
Texas Southern University, TX

Riya Parikh
Leukemia
Texas Southern University, TX

About the Program

Bling for Bravery is a program developed through the Snowdrop Foundation to celebrate and reward the bravery of the pediatric cancer patients at Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston, TX. The mission is to distribute finisher’s medals from races from Half Marathons through Ultra Marathons including Triathlons to the children at the hospital to recognize and celebrate their bravery in dealing with cancer.

The common thread of dedication and bravery of training for long distance races and triathlons is mirrored by the patients at the hospital. If you would like to donate a medal, please complete the form.  This will provide us with some information on the race that the medal is from and the donor that can be shared with the recipient.

Bling for Bravery’s Creator – Larry “The Blok” DeSpain

Back in 2007, at the age of 62, I was encouraged (challenged) to run the Houston Half Marathon by my son-in-law. I was recovering from Achilles Tendon surgery and was using running as a rehabilitation exercise. We joined Fort Bend Fit in July and the training began. One Saturday, Kevin Kline with the Snowdrop Foundation was one of the speakers at the weekly seminar. Based on a personal experience with Brianna Garza (who was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of three months), I decided to help raise funds for the Snowdrop Foundation.
As I mentioned, Brianna was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three months. At 18 months she received a bone marrow transplant. One of the ladies that I worked with at the time knew that I was a regular blood donor and asked me if I would be willing to donate platelettes for Brianna. I agreed, and another lady from the office and I alternated weeks and donated platelettes for a couple of months. If you have never donated platelettes, it takes about two hours and they insert needles in both arms; one to take the blood and the other to return it after the platelettes have been removed. It takes about 30 minutes to set up the equipment, pull the test specimens, etc., and then the process begins. At times it was a little painful, but when I thought of what little Brianna was experiencing, it didn’t hurt quite as much. They used to play VHS movies while we were donating, and my only complaint was that I never got to see how the movies ended because they were usually longer that 90 minutes! Briana was the niece of a friend of the coworker, I have never met her and probably never will. I did receive a picture of her when her aunt discovered I was volunteering with the Snowdrop Foundation.

Want to get involved?

If you are in the Houston surrounding areas and would like to donate medals –
Finish Line Sports, Sugar Creek Blvd. – Sugar Land, TX
Fleet Feet Sports, Greenbriar Dr. – Houston, TX
Fleet Feet Sports, Cinco Ranch Blvd. – Katy TX
Fleet Feet Sports, Hughes Landing – The Woodlands, TX
Fleet Feet Sports, Louetta Rd. – Spring, TX
Fleet Feet Sports, Woodway Dr. – Houston, TX
On The Run, Bay Area Blvd. – Houston (Clear Lake), TX
Ready to Run, Far West Blvd. – Austin, TX
Run On by Jack Rabbit Sports, West Gray Street – Houston, TX
Texas Running Company, Highway 59 – Sugar Land, TX
Wild Pear Running, Broadway Street – Pearland, TX

Or they can be mailed to: Lawrence A. DeSpain 4407 Lakeshore Forest Drive Missouri City, TX 77459-4488 Cell: 713-823-0703 email: blingforbravery@snowdropfoundation.org

Note: Please remove the ribbon and wrap the medal in bubble wrap or similar protective material. This will reduce your postage costs and protect the medal from the postage machines. The ribbon will be replaced with a new ribbon by the Snowdrop Foundation prior to presenting it to the recipient.

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Medal Donor Information Form

Please take a moment to submit the form below. Completing the information is entirely optional and at the donor’s discretion. Information gathered from those donating medals will be shared with the recipients.

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