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Keeping the Faith

Iphone - Oct 097



Submitted by:
Cassidy MacQuarrie

On June 28, 2015, the Almendarez family was rocked by the news that Jana, wife of Chris and mother of Luke (14) and Chase (19), had been diagnosed with a Stage IV glioblastoma. The tumor in her brain was the size of a pecan, and due to its location is inoperable. As the president of the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, Chris began to receive a plethora of support from his baseball family – people in Texas and beyond – who rallied together to raise funds for the Almendarez family and awareness to the cause through #TeamJana. She has undergone radiation and chemotherapy treatments through Texas Onocology for eight months, and in the process the family has grown extremely close to Dr. Groves, Rachel Smith and the entire Texas Oncology team. The financial support from the community has been overwhelming and has earned local and national recognition through the OM Foundation Organization Award, RBI Austin, and Austin Gives. Equally important to supporting the Almendarez family is bringing awareness to brain cancer in general and helping fund the research necessary to make breakthroughs in the field. Through their relationships with the people at Texas Oncology, Chris and Jana became familiar with the Head for the Cure 5k and, selfless as they are, wanted to help in any way possible. For the Express, this means pushing the Head for the Cure Central Texas out to our tens of thousands of followers, signing up our staff to participate as a team, bringing our promotional setup out to Camp Mabry the day of the event, and supplying each runner or walker with free tickets to an Express game in April of this year. For Jana, Chris, Luke and Chase, this means maintaining a positive attitude, staying hopeful, and working up the strength to participate on race day. We believe in the power of prayer and also in the power of medicine, and we are looking forward to helping push the needle – inspired by Jana’s strength and in honor of her fight.