The LaRena Smith Bengoa Run, Ride or Walk for the Cure was formed in 2002. We are a non-profit organization made up of all volunteers that work to provide assistance to residents of Humboldt and Lander counties that are fighting any type of cancer. We are also excited to give funding to support research to find a cure for cancer. Our research donations go to Stand Up 2 Cancer and we request that every cent of our donation go to research. They have formed a cooperative coalition to work together in the fight for the cure rather than compete against one another.
What makes us unique is our passion to stop cancer and perhaps help our family, friend, neighbor or co-worker beat this horrible disease.
Who are we (The Larena Smith Bengoa Run, Ride, or Walk for the Cure, now Larena’s Race)? We have organized, survived, and grown since 2002, helping hundreds of people with hundreds of thousands of dollars, while still contributing to cancer research.
“You have cancer”; upon hearing these words, an individual’s life can never be quite the same. Yet, in the middle of the surgeries, the treatments, the physical pain, changes to appearance, and most of all the fear, the rest of the world continues on, as it must. The bills still come; there are still job concerns, and looming large, painful thoughts about how it will all turn out.
Each person finds their way through it; their own support system; their own coping mechanism, but the thing that each of them needs is some peace of mind as to how they are going to handle the day to day expenses that go along with cancer treatment from our remote location. This rural portion of Humboldt and Lander counties we call home. For some, family and friends are able to step in and offer help; however, that is not always the case, nor is it enough. Our goal with Larena’s Race is to be that place to go for help and some peace of mind. We have no stipulations as to who can apply, no lengthy application process, and most people receive assistance within three days upon applying.
We do only the one event each year, which includes a Friday night concert and a Saturday run, ride, or walk (1, 3, or 5 mile). It is held on Friday and Saturday before Mother’s day each year, and we rely on those proceeds to provide help to newly diagnosed patients starting treatment, as well as patients who are facing additional treatments throughout the year. The money we provide can be used for fuel, motels, wigs, meals; whatever each individual may need. None of our team, which has grown from three to sixteen people, receives any compensation. Humboldt General Hospital and French Ford Middle School have become much appreciated partners in making the event happen, and we have received amazing support from the mining industries, and local businesses and organizations. We are hoping for a record breaking year in terms of money raised, so that we can increase the amount available to each individual for help.
The Larena’s Race team is Humboldt and Lander County residents, who have become a family. We provide immediate financial help to those taking cancer treatments. We also provide funds to Stand Up 2 Cancer. It is a different kind of research team “which encourages innovation through multi-institutional scientists who work together collaboratively, rather than competitively, to develop new treatments quickly in order to save lives now.”
That is who we are. Don’t wonder how to help local residents who have cancer, join us for Larena’s Race! You can count on your help reaching those fighting cancer, quickly and directly.