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The 5k was a journey for all of us: Honoring a loved one at the Prevent Cancer 5k

Maggie Klee | Published on October 26, 2017

Updated on November 4, 2019

Dr. Livia Amezcua, a dentist at Catholic Charities’ Spanish Catholic Center, could put a smile on anyone’s face. Her passion for her work and commitment to serving her community were infectious to her co-workers, and her patients always left their appointments with smiles on their faces. Livia was always on the move and ready to take on the next challenge, like starting a new dental clinic to improve access for underserved men, women and children. But in the spring of 2016 she was faced with an even greater challenge: a colon cancer diagnosis at age 48.

Treatment started off well and Livia’s doctors were optimistic about her future. By October, they gave her the all-clear, but Livia still felt pain in her body. She pushed the doctors to look again and in February 2017, her doctors discovered cancer in other parts of her body. She started treatment again. Sadly, treatment did not work this time around and Livia passed away a few months later.

During her first round of treatment, Livia’s colleagues at Spanish Catholic Center wanted to honor their friend who had spent her life lifting up others. Frustrated with the feeling of not being able to help, they set up a team for the 2016 Prevent Cancer 5k Walk/Run to do something positive in honor of Livia. “When you love someone who has cancer, you feel like there’s nothing you can do. This was an opportunity to come together and do something, not just be passive,” said Denise Capaci.

The group made tie-dye ribbons in her honor, because she always wore bright colors. They loved dedicating the day to Livia on the Tribute Wall, where participants can display their reasons for running or walking the 5k.

“It made me feel so happy we could honor her together. The 5k was a journey for all of us,” said Dorys Lizama.

They especially loved supporting a fundraising event that provides cancer prevention education and screenings to communities across the country.

Team Livia suffered a terrible loss this summer, but they are honored to return to the 2017 Prevent Cancer 5k in memory of Livia.

If you are interested in starting a team in honor of a loved one at the Prevent Cancer 5k Walk/Run & Health Fair, check out our website for more information. Not only do teams bring friends and families closer together, they are a key component in raising the funds to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!®

Prevent Cancer 5k Walk/Run & Health Fair
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
We hope to see you there!

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