Meet LIVESTRONG Leader Rafael Matos

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Meet LIVESTRONG Leader Rafael Matos

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#LIVESTRONGLeaders make a significant commitment to people affected by cancer. Meet one of the best: http://bit.ly/1oW0CqM
Saturday, March 5, 2016 - 1:55pm

CAMPAIGN: LIVESTRONG in the Communities

CONTENT: Blog

LIVESTRONG Leaders are individuals that make a significant commitment to those in their community affected by cancer by spreading the message of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. They do this by fundraising, hosting events, bringing LIVESTRONG Foundation resources to their local hospitals and more.

1) What is your name, where are you from?
My name is Rafael E. Matos. I am originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and currently reside in Ellicott City, Maryland.

2) How are you affected by cancer?
My grandfather died of cancer in 1981 and that was a very impactful loss for my family, especially for me. He did not have the information, resources, or help needed to at least attempt to fight his condition. Since then other members of my family have been affected by other forms of cancer, like breast cancer and brain tumors, and I have developed a direct devotion to assist those experiencing the struggles in their cancer journey. When my friend Krista Paternostro lost her sweet sister Kass to cancer, we participated in the LIVESTRONGChallenge in Philadelphia and Austin, where she introduced me to this family of fighters, supporters, caregivers, and people who “get it”. I HAD TO be part of this mission, so I applied and was selected as LIVESTRONG Leader in my state.

3) What does being a Leader/Senior Leader mean to you?
Being a LIVESTRONG Senior Leader has been a tremendous privilege to me, as I have had the opportunity to learn the details of the programs and services of the Foundation, and have been able to share that information one-on-one to many affected by cancer right now. Being a Leader in our State and in our region means that I have the responsibility, and the obligation, to have the information I have readily available to anyone that might need it. It means that I am able to give the opportunity of a fighting chance that my grandfather did not have.

4) What are you doing in your community to give back?
I love the work we do in our community by working with a tremendous LIVESTRONG Partner such as 24 Hours of Booty as part of the Columbia, MD, “Booty Crew” assisting in the planning and execution of a fantastic family event that brings together survivors, caregivers, friends, and family members together. Additionally I am involved with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, which has been changing lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, as they fight cancer and embrace survivorship. I participate in their events and more directly as Sherpa for the Cancer to 5K Program – a free, 12-week training program designed to introduce or reintroduce cancer survivors to physical activity. The program provides survivors with the professional training, coaches, encouragement and support necessary to complete a 5K (3.1 mile) road race, regardless of their age, current cancer treatment status or fitness level. This is as one-on-one support as you can get.

Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Cancer | Greg Lee | LIVESTRONG | LIVESTRONG Leaders | Rafael Matos

CAMPAIGN: LIVESTRONG in the Communities

CONTENT: Blog

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