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Walk 100 miles in Crystal's shoes!

Matthew Jalazo

Walk 100 miles in Crystal's shoes!

In 2001, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  On the twenty-year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis, my close friend and colleague, Crystal, experienced a recurrence of hers. Stage 4 colon cancer, to be precise.

To say that Crystal has been through a brutal battle over the last two years would be an understatement. Numerous surgeries, septic shock and a two-month hospitalization during the coronavirus pandemic cannot keep her down. I have often asked myself... where does her ferocious spirit come from? Simply put, it is her tireless desire to advocate for others less fortunate.

Watching how fiercely dedicated Crystal has been in continuing to share her cancer story, while simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy and experiencing its side effects... for the sole purpose of educating others and hopefully prevent them from experiencing something similar... has inspired me.  I have been, and remain, awestruck by her heroism, selflessness, and relentless desire to advocate for others... at a time when she has every reason in the world to be totally focused on herself.  Realizing all of this, I knew one thing for certain... that I was going to stand by her side every step of the way, and do everything in my power to support her.  

I always tell Crystal that she is my hero. I don't know if she'll ever believe it, because she is too humble for that title. But she is. And she will always be. I am a better human being because of her. I will always advocate for her.

In that spirit, on Saturday, December 4, at the Daytona 100 (www.daytona100ultra.com), I will do my absolute best to walk in Crystal's shoes... one foot in front of the other, down a path of grueling physical stress... by attempting to complete 100 miles in a single day.  I am doing this to pay homage to my friend... my hero... by spreading her message of advocacy, by promoting awareness of the impact of colon cancer and the importance of early screenings, with the hope that we can save lives.

I hope you will donate, in support of our joint mission. Crystal is someone who I have immense respect for.  She is just a remarkable human being.... someone who, through her example, has reminded me just how connected we all truly are.

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If you would like to learn more about the history of our advocacy mission, or if you wish to make an additional or separate donation to assist Crystal with medical expenses, you may also visit our GoFundMe page at https://gofund.me/83bb8600.

Thank you for your support! 

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