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They Plan to Pound Pavement for Boy Battling Leukemia

November 04, 1990|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY AND JULIO MORAN

Two Santa Monica men running in today's New York City Marathon will have a special inspiration to help them get over "the wall" that many long-distance runners face late in the 26.2-mile race: the infectious grin of a 9-year-old boy who has leukemia.

Grant G. Snyder, 28, and Michael T. Gottlieb, 29, have been collecting pledges for each mile they run, and will donate the money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

Part of the money raised will go to help fulfill the wish of Joaquin Henry Grijalva of Valinda to visit Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Joaquin, a fourth-grader who says his favorite subject is math, was found to have leukemia in March, 1988. The boy's mother, Colleen Grijalva, said Joaquin has been waiting for a bone marrow donor since his illness went into remission in June.

Grijalva said the bone marrow transfer can only be done during the remission period, which usually lasts only six months. Joaquin is on the waiting list of a national registry for bone marrow, but his family asks that anyone interested in being tested for a possible bone marrow match contact the City of Hope Hospital in Duarte (818-359-8111).

Meanwhile, Joaquin's eyes light up as he talks about his upcoming visit to Disney World on Nov. 14.

"It's supposed to be bigger and better than Disneyland," the boy said.

Snyder and Gottlieb, who have both run marathons in Chicago and Los Angeles, said they had already planned to run in New York when they decided to make their effort a fund-raiser to benefit children.

"We want to make a difference for at least one child," said Snyder, who planned to wear a T-shirt with a photo of Joaquin during the race. "Knowing that we are running for Joaquin will help us finish the race. He's running a marathon every day of his life."

The men, who have adopted the slogan "Two average runners running for an exceptional child," hope to raise at least $15,000. Anyone interested in making a pledge or a donation may contact the Make-A-Wish Foundation in West Los Angeles at (213) 207-3023.

Dr. Howard Hansen has been appointed as the medical director of the Child Study Center at St. John's Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica.

His responsibilities will include providing medical direction and supervision for all clinical aspects of programs and services at the center. Since 1980, he has been on the consulting staff of St. John's psychiatric department.

The Child Study Center provides mental health and educational services for children with special needs and their families.

Dr. Julius Lesner will receive the Red Yarmulka Humanitarian Award for his volunteer work. The award will be presented by the Pacific Southwest Region of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs at a dinner on Nov. 18 at Sinai Temple. Lesner, who has been recognized for his contributions to the Jewish community and in the field of education, is a member of the board of directors at Sinai Temple and has also served the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

John J. McDonough, professor of management at UCLA, has been appointed to a new term on the Los Angeles County Mental Health Advisory Board by Supervisor Deane Dana.

McDonough is a member of the American Accounting Assn. and the Academy of Management.

Dr. Alvar Kabe, a Loyola Marymount University part-time professor, has earned the Trustees' Distinguished Achievement Award from the Aerospace Corp.

It is the company's highest honor and includes a prize of $15,000 and a bronze plaque. Kabe has been recognized for his outstanding contributions in the field of structural dynamics of launch vehicles and spacecraft in support of national security programs.

Dorothy Green, president and a founding member of Heal the Bay, is the recipient of the Mount Gay Call Award for Environmental Achievement.

The award was presented at a reception Oct. 17 honoring her support and dedication to environmental concerns.

Heal the Bay will receive a $5,000 donation from Mount Gay.

Items for People can be mailed to People, Los Angeles Times, Suite 200, 1717 4th St., Santa Monica 90401.

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