by Krystal Paco
Guam - "Guam is Good" has been the slogan for the Edward M. Calvo Cancer Foundation since its inception back in 2004 and for good reason. For Foundation board member Marie Calvo Monge, the foundation celebrates the life and legacy of her late grandfather, who lost the fight to cancer in 2004.
"'Guam is Good' has become the slogan of the foundation. It began as a tribute to my grandfather who assed away from cancer in 2004. He suffered from cancer and had to get treatment in California. He just longed to be back at home and his parting words to all of us was 'Guam is Good' because that's where he wanted to be. He wanted to be with the rest of his family on this beautiful island and so that's really become our slogan, our rallying cry to just try to help people on our island," she explained.
Monge says the Foundation is made possible through the good hearts of the island's people. After all, the foundation is 100% volunteer-run and have since helped thousands of people battling cancer though over a million dollars in grants. "It's so overwhelming the support that we've received from the community and it just shows that it speaks to the very heart of our slogan - 'Guam is Good'. People have such big hearts here and through their generous efforts we've been able to sustain the foundation and continue to provide that financial support," she said.
Monge encourages residents to continue to support EMC's efforts next weekend at the 4th Annual Guam is Good 5k Fun Run/Walk. She added, "Cancer affects everybody in a different way. You may have lost somebody you may do it in honor of someone or a tribute to somebody or just show your support for someone who is still in the fight. Our community we're just one that we really unite together, and I think that this run is a show of solidarity against cancer and in support of those who are undergoing cancer treatment so I invite everyone to come out and support this cause."
Unlike other 5k t-shirts, the first 500 finishers will get to personalize theirs. "As one of the features of this 5k we have t-shirts for the first 500 finishers and this t-shirt is unique in that there is an area where you can customize the reason you're running - the reason you're participating. It may be in memory of a loved one it might be for a survivor that you know so what we're going to do is for the first 500 finishers they'll receive a t-shirt and we'll have a station at the race where they can customize their shirt," she said.
The Guam is Good 5k is slated for September 1. Meeting time is 5:15am at Skinner's Plaza with go time at 6. Registration is $8 per person pre-sold at Hornet Sporting Goods or $30 for a family of four. Or, sign up on race day for $10 per person. For more information on the Edward M. Calvo Cancer Foundation visit GuamIsGood.org, their Facebook page, or their offices on top of Cup & Saucer in Hagatna.