Former Army Ranger running in honor of 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth

Gulf War veteran running more than 170 miles to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research
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(PR NewsChannel) / June 23, 2014 / MIAMI 

Photo courtesy of The V Foundation for Cancer Research

Photo courtesy of The V Foundation for Cancer Research

For Alex Estrella, a 55-year-old former Army Ranger and Gulf War veteran, running nonstop for 170 miles over four days is just another way to help people.

Inspired by March Madness darling and 8-year old nerve-cell cancer patient Lacey Holsworth, Estrella has decided to run from Miami to Key West over the course of four days from June 27 through June 30 to raise awareness for childhood cancer.

Also known as “Princess Lacey,” Holsworth captured the nation’s heart while inspiring the Michigan State men’s basketball team on their way to a Big Ten Championship and an NCAA Tournament bid.

She quickly became a media fixture due to her infectious smile and enthusiasm, a smile that made the public almost forget her difficult two-year battle with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer. The entire country was impacted by her passing in April.

“No child should have to go through what she went through, yet she faced it better than most grown men would,” said Estrella. “The thought that a stroke of bad luck could affect someone as young as her, it just drove me to do whatever I could to help.”

To help, Estrella is lacing up his boots, strapping a 90-pound rucksack to his back and running through the South Florida humidity.

“As a human being, I always felt compelled to help people or causes that needed the attention. The best that I could do was to use my God given abilities to bring attention to those in need.” said Estrella.

Estrella, a Miami native and former Army Ranger who served in the 101st Airborne division during the first Gulf War in the 1990s is no stranger to running. He tried out for the Army Olympic team in 1988 hoping to make the team as a decathlon participant.

He has also organized runs in honor of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In 2004, he ran the same route from Miami Beach to Key West in memory of fallen National Guard soldier Michelle Witmer, who died in an Iraqi ambush that same year.

Gaining the national spotlight for his cause, including appearing on “Good Morning America,” and the support of the Witmer family, his efforts raised donations for the Michelle Witmer Memorial Fund and Project ChildHelp.

This time, Estrella is raising awareness for childhood cancer research via the Jimmy V Foundation.

“The V Foundation guarantees that 100-percent of the funds raised by Mr. Estrella will be given towards pediatric research in memory of Lacey,” said Sherrie Mazur, vice president of communication for The V Foundation.

“It sounds like an easy run, but after the first 20 miles, you begin to see that it is a difficult quest to complete,” said Estrella. “But my faith in God, country, and dedication to Lacey will give me the extra strength that I will need to finish the run.”

For more information, or to donate to The Run for Lacey, please visit:

Tyler Ragghianti
The Publicity Agency
Phone: (813) 708-1220 x7780

Adam Farragut
The Publicity Agency
Phone: (813) 708-1220 x7778

Direct link:

SOURCE:  The Run for Lacey

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