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Stories of Hope

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Why Run. Why Walk. Why Fundraise. 
Every day, California Hospital Medical Center makes a difference in patients' lives. Our doors are open 24/7 to help all who need care, regardless of their social or economic status.


Meet Glenn Laird.

Glenn came to California Hospital Medical Center following a routine motor vehicle collision but things quickly took a drastic turn:

“I started out as a routine traffic accident victim, but soon I began to crash. My brother and his wife gathered at my side to say their goodbyes. But be
fore I lost consciousness, I was asked a simple question: Do you want to live? I responded, yes.

One doctor became an orchestra leader. He summoned all of the various professionals that a trauma center could muster and then the magic began as everything possible was done to bring me back from the brink of death. Through the technology and skills of a well-trained team, I made it and awoke four days later to realize that I had just been given the gift of continued life. For that, you can never understand the depth of my gratitude.”


Johnny's Walkers.

John L Raya began mentoring at Hope Street Family Center in the late 90’s and later served as a member of the CHMC Foundation Board until his passing in 2010.  In 2012, his daughter Jeanne Raya joined the Foundation Board and the Hope Street Fund Development Committee.  A partner in Raya Insurance, Cindy Uehara, designed the “Johnny’s Walkers” backpack our team will wear in the 2019 Heart of the City 5K.  The backpacks were handmade by Jeanne’s lifelong friend Carol Russell, another team member.  We support Heart of the City every year,  in memory of John, and to fulfill his commitment to CHMC.



Why I Run: Catherine's story.
Nine years ago, a vehicle crashed at full speed into Catherine Round (center in photo) an accomplished ballet performer and instructor. She wasn't sure she would ever be able to dance again. But after receiving emergency care and extensive rehabilitation at California Hospital Medical Center, she returned to ballet and now enjoys doing the things she loves again ... including giving back.


This marks the 7th year of the Heart of the City 5K and Catherine has been a participant since the beginning. As a team captain, she recruits other ballerinas and friends to join her on race day and raises funds for the hospital. It's easy to spot Catherine's team on the course ... just look for the group in pink tutus!

It's a wonderful hospital that helps people get back on their feet. We always have so much fun at the race and look forward to it each year!"
- former patient, Catherine Round


Well-organized and well-run celebration!

"Five years ago, our son contacted us about a 5K hospital charity race happening in LA.  My wife and I had talked about flying out for a visit, so this seemed like a great opportunity to see him and help out a good cause. Being a runner, the chance to take advantage of racing at sea level was a no-brainer and, in fact, I came in first in my age division! I was elated to receive my first-place medal, which, incidentally, our son had designed. We’ve come back four years in a row with the hope that I would defend my title. Even though that hasn’t happened, I am still excited to participate in this well-organized and well-run celebration. And knowing that it’s all for a great cause makes it even more special. As long as I can keep running, I’ll be back every year, hoping to come in ahead of all the other old guys!"  -John Giardino, Denver, CO

If you'd like to share your story with us, please call or email Maggie Trigueros at 213-742-6301 or 
We'd love to hear your story!