by LYDIA COBB
photos by Spark Photography

The Color Purple

When her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, Erika Jimenez researched 5K cancer benefit events that the family could join. She found PurpleStride. Ironically, purple is her eldest daughter’s favorite color. Even more of a twist: PurpleStride benefits Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Just as pink represents breast cancer, purple represents pancreatic cancer.

“I decided not to just sign up for the event, but to create a team and raise money,” said Erika Jimenez. Her team of close friends and family was named “Fighting Feavers” in support of her father, Steve Feaver. Together, they raised $10,000 in less than six weeks and became the top fundraising team for the 2013 PurpleStride 5K and Fun Run/Walk.

“I am probably most proud of our daughters,” shared Erika. “They really wanted to pitch in and raise money too.” They set up a lemonade stand and sold purple frosted sugar cookies that generated $165. They also collected recyclables and donated the proceeds.

PurpleStride San Diego is an all-ages 5K run/walk that will be held at De Anza Cove in Mission Bay Park on Sept. 21. Daughters Natalie and Noelle are planning their second annual lemonade stand, and Erika invites community members to participate in the event and help raise even more money for cancer awareness and research. Tax-deductible donations of any amount are welcome.

The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is just 6%, according to www.pancan.org. By 2020, pancreatic cancer could become the second leading cause of cancer death. It is frequently diagnosed once it has already reached aggressive stages. Erika urges others to get standard diagnostic tests for early detection.

The Jimenez family lives in 4S Ranch. Karl Strauss Brewery is a favorite get-away, among gastronomic destinations that include Sweet Things and Panera. Nick and Erika met at Fresno State University and have been married thirteen years. Natalie attends 6th grade at Oak Valley Middle School and Noelle is in 4th grade at Monterey Ridge Elementary.

“My entire family was so grateful for all the support that we received and were so humbled by the generosity of so many people that donated to our team,” reflected Erika. The Fighting Feavers will be walking this year’s PurpleStride in memory of Steve Feaver who succumbed to his cancer last December. Yet with hope for a cure, they’ll be joined by many who share the same dream.

At-A-Glance

Name: Erika Jimenez
Community: 4S Ranch
Affiliation: PurpleStride
Occupartion: Mother and Fundraiser
Family: Husband – Nick, COO Internet company;
Daughters – Natalie (12, Oak Valley Middle School)
and Noelle (10, Monterey Ridge Elementary)
Hobbies: Exercise, reading, baking and time with family and friends


 

Group: Fighting Feavers – PurpleStride San Diego 5K Fun Run/Walk (Sept. 21, 2014)
Mission: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure.
Contact: www.purplestride.org/findanevent.html
(Click on San Diego for team Fighting Feavers)