CHICAGO (CBS) — Anthony Braglia lost his mother Heidi in 2013.
“She was fighting for about three, four years. She would beat it, then she’d go into remission, then it would metastasize all over her body. It started out as breast cancer, then it just spread over three, four years,” he said.
Now four years later, the Illinois State University sophomore is being honored as a Pink Hero in this weekend’s Susan G. Komen Mother’s Day Race for the Cure.
“To be a More than Pink Hero, to me, is more honoring my mother than a personal accomplishment. It feels best that she is receiving this award more than I am,” he said.
Braglia has raised $3,600 this year with the help of his fraternity brothers, who will also be running in the race with their mothers. He says he’s running and spreading the word in honor of his mother.
When he shared her story on Twitter, his fraternity pledged to donate $1 to the Race for every retweet.
“My fraternity brothers have been so supportive. The tweet received 3,600 retweets and over 300,000 views in three days. Social media has been amazing,” he said.
Braglia will be running Sunday, along with his Sigma Nu fraternity brothers and their mothers.
Braglia and Sigma Nu’s efforts received recognition from Susan G. Komen. Komen’s Chicago chapter distinguished Braglia as one of 20 Chicago More Than Pink Heroes.
Komen will formally honor Braglia at this year’s Chicagoland Mother’s Day Race for the Cure May 14 at Montrose Harbor. Despite already raising thousands, Braglia plans to donate yearly and continue fundraising efforts with Susan G. Komen and Sigma Nu.
“It’s something I’ll continue in honor of my mom. I’d love to work for Susan G. Komen one day.”
The 20th annual Mother’s Day Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will kick off at Montrose Harbor at 9 a.m.