By Tony Mateo

BOSTON - October 15, 2000 was a very nice Fall day. One of those that makes you appreciate a leisurely jog along the Charles River, with or without a cause. But on this day, 19 PAMAS officers and members were out joining thousands of other walkers participating in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer's 5K walk, starting and ending at the Hatch Shell, in Boston's Esplande. And they did for a very special reason . . . they did it from the heart in support of Flord Orquiola Escobar's personal fight against cancer.

Flord and her husband, Jojo, were among the original members of the PAMAS organization. She was also a former President of the organization from July, 1994 to June, 1996. She served in that capacity during PAMAS' most difficult period of time, when differences in principles causing internal misunderstandings split the Association in two factions. With steel resolve and solid determination, Flord held the organization together, straightened out the problems and went on to lead PAMAS to an unprecedented recovery period, culminating with outstanding results.

Flord has been diagnosed with cancer shortly before they moved to Georgia, and she's been fighting tooth and nail to rid herself of the disease since then. I know in my heart that she's in for the toughest fight of her life, but I also know Flord is a tough cookie and she will not quit. PAMAS will support and fight with her all the way, any which way we can. The Walk last October 15th was just one little thing and the least PAMAS could do to show her our concern and support. It was brought to PAMAS attention and was originally conceived by the Orquiola clan, Flord's own family, who raised over $7,000.00 for the American Cancer Society that day, with over $1,300.00, by the PAMAS walkers themselves. PAMAS also donated 24 shirts used by the walkers, emblazoned with, "WE FIGHT FOR FLORD" on the back.

Over 3 million dollars in funds were raised for the American Cancer Society that day, and PAMAS can proudly claim that they were a part of it. More than anything else, those PAMAS members who were there or supported this humanitarian gesture with their pledges and donation, can say . . . we did it and we did it for Flord.

PAMAS, indeed, is in the heart.

Return to Humanitarian page...