At Tuesday night's Padres game, Randy and Curt Gandy, representing The Randy Jones Foundation, had the honor of granting Aldo Aguilar his Padre wish--meeting several Padres players to get photos and autographs. He's a huge Padres fan and an incredible young man--a hero who has fought his entire life and brings warmth and a smile to everyone he meets. We're so happy to have met him and see that infectious smile in person.
A little about Aldo from Friends of Scott: Friends of Children with Cancer:
If you are lucky enough to meet Aldo, your life is better for it. He is truly a gift from God.
Aldo was born on August 27, 2001. When he was only one year old, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Astrocytoma (a brain tumor) and had to endure an extremely risky surgery to remove a tumor. Unfortunately during this surgery, Aldo suffered a stroke that the doctors did not think he would fully recover from. At fourteen years old he lost his vision as a result of another tumor growth.
By the grace of God, Aldo not only survived the stroke that left him paralyzed at the age of one and unable to walk by himself, but he has learned to thrive relying on his optimism and faith. Despite not being able to see with his eyes, he always reminds others that he sees with his heart.
Aldo is a testament of resilience and hope. He has gone on to graduate from Valhalla High School and is currently enrolled in a special education transition program for ongoing independent learning. Additionally, Aldo is an active member of his church the Iglesia Hispana Nueva Vida, the Braille Institute and San Diego Brain Tumor
Aldo has endured numerous rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments for almost twenty years. He has been battling cancer his entire life. But, despite all the challenges and complications that he has encountered and continues to face, he stands up to this adversity with a radiating smile and a contagious laugh.
Aldo has given so many of us a great gift. He has taught us how to love without expectation but rather from a place of pure gratitude. That is how Aldo loves.Everyone that he meets walks away from the encounter with a warm heart and an appreciation for the things that matter most –family, friends, faith, hope.
Update from Lydia's family:
"Lydia is doing well. She is now playing travel ball with Breakers Labs. She just made the varsity squad at Serra High School. Her grades are going well, her GPS is about a 3.6. We continue to take her to hitting lessons and pitching lessons. She is getting her pitching lessons from Makayla Martin a former D-1 pitcher at Auburn University. Thank you so much for everything you have provided for Lydia."
An update from the Malinis Family
Crystina hasn't been able to play or practice volleyball since the pandemic hit. She has focused on her academics and keeping in shape by working out with her brothers. She's using the same fundamentals she used on Volleyball towards her studies. It has paid off! After being accepted to multiple colleges, she has chosen to attend San Diego State University in the Fall majoring in Psychology. Her goal is to become a Psychologist focusing on child and adolescents.
Jeremiah continues to strive for excellence. He has enhanced his basketball skills throughout the pandemic. He has been training with his club coach via zoom and in person. He has also participated in basketball tournaments whenever he can with his club team, Making Pros (formally KAO South). Just recently, Jeremiah tried out for Olympian High School basketball team. He is currently a Sophomore (10th grade). I am proud to say that Jeremiah has made the Varsity Team for his second year. He has also strived to keep his grades up and plans to major in Kinesiology in college.
Ethan aka Nico also continues to strive for excellence. Like his brother Jeremiah, he has continued to enhance his basketball skills throughout the pandemic also training with club coach via Zoom and in person. He has also participated in basketball tournaments whenever he can with his club team, Making Pros (formally KAO South). Unfortunately, Ranch Del Rey Middle school elected not to have a basketball season this year. However, that has not deterred Nico. Inspired by Jeremiah, he continues to hone his basketball skills in hopes to be chosen to be on the Olympian High School Varsity Team as a Freshman next season. Nico has also buckled down and improved all his classes getting high praise from all his teachers. He plans to become a lawyer in the future.
This month Ray Flores, a Director for RJF and Executive Director of the San Diego Veteran Coalition was featured in Ranch & Coast Magazine. "The San Diego Padres and the Randy Jones Foundation are major supporters of the American legion Baseball League, as is the San Diego Veterans Coalition, all three of which are strongly committed both to supporting sports at inner-city schools and revitalizing and growing American Legion baseball in San Diego County."
Check out the rest of the story on page 30:
Congratulations to our own board member, Ray Flores, who is the Veteran of the Month in July issue of San Diego Veteran's Magazine! You can read the whole article here: bit.ly/2ZyLyF6
"In reflecting on his San Diego volunteerism, he says that his most rewarding work is with the Randy Jones
The Randy Jones Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides new opportunities and resources for
military families and children and the community through education, housing, and outdoor activities. Ray
said that his favorite part of the organization is offering scholarships to children of service members in order
to provide a path for them to participate in athletic programs they would not be able to otherwise afford.
For more information about the Randy Jones Foundation, go to: www.randyjonesfoundation.com
So, what makes him sleep soundly at night? It is the satisfaction of knowing he has done his best every day
to ensure his work has touched as many people as possible. About selecting the organizations he works
with, he said, “I like to see them be the ripple in the pond that touches so many.”"
It has been awhile since we’ve heard from Peyton, she has been doing well since the TCS World Series in Park City, Utah. She has been enjoying some very much-needed down time. During this down time she has really just been enjoying being a kid! Currently getting some free weekends to spend time with her family, friends, some nights having sleepovers, days next to the pool and sleeping in.
Her initial plan was going to be taking a break from softball, since she has been playing year round, non-stop. She is taking the opportunity to explore what other sports she might be interested in playing. She is signed up for Volleyball! She is super excited about her season starting on September 11th and running through November 1st.
Her softball break didn’t go as planned. She went to a practice one day with a few of her friends and realized how much she missed playing already and didn’t want to take the fall season off, so she is playing both sports this fall and will be busier then ever!
She is looking for other teams to try out for, so it’s unknown what sport she’ll be apart of next. She is also looking forward to getting back to school. It’s funny, she probably would’ve gone back to school a month ago or earlier if given the choice!
We will be sure to let you know how volleyball is going along with juggling multiple sports!
Recently the Randy Jones Foundation has added to its accolades! We are happy to share that we received multiples awards and recognitions for being one of the top Nonprofits in San Diego who support military families.17 awards were given to us by multiple senators, congressmen and several other high-ranking politicians, the awards are listed below.
We are extremely honored to receive all of these and will continue to do our best to help support all our local military families. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered and helped as well as those who have contributed as sponsors, without you non of this would have been possible.
Late last month Austin was taking some time with his family for a little R & R before his tournament at the Azusa Pacific University. All the extra training and hard work Austin put in paid off in the Youth American Open on the 29th.
Austin had two competitors in his bracket, he needed to win both matches in order to win first place! He fought super hard and managed to place second in his first ever tournament.
He was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to compete and is looking forward to his next tournament in late September in Los Angeles. Austin has learned a tremendous amount during this experience and already has made a plan with adjustments for his training in order to have better opportunities for victory in September.
The Ray Squad (Austins’ family) and everyone here at the Randy Jones Foundation are beyond proud of all the hard work and perseverance. Great job, we’re excited to see how well do you do in your next competition.
Thank you to everyone who showed Austin support! Keep up the good work and let’s help push him to first place!
If you enjoyed this little update on Austin, be sure to check back in with our blogs and social media to find out the latest information about all three of our scholarship recipients. Also, if you or someone you know wants the chance to be one of our next scholarship recipients, head on over to the application form and submit one! Application submissions end on December 31st!
If you are just joining the Randy Jones Foundation, recently we have been working to highlight 3 amazing student athletes that come from military families. There is Peyton, Austin and Sienna, they all compete in different athletics however all have extremely high drive, passion and intelligence. They all also happen to be the Randy Jones Foundation first scholarship recipients.
A few weeks ago we shared a story about Sienna recovery from a painful hip injury but doing everything possible to continue to push herself and not let her team down during both her CIF swim prelims and her track and field finals. Sienna also attended a Nike Track and Field Camp at Stanford University where she was able to learn a lot more about her specific events ( 400m, 800m and the 4x400m relay). It was incredible experience with many guest speakers including some Olympic athletes.
Sienna has been working extremely hard in her school work, athletics and more. We just wanted to announce that Sienna has managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA the entirety of her training for cross country, track and field, and swimming! How incredible!
We are unbelievably proud of her and know she is going to continue to impress us and everyone around her. We are happy to be a part of her journey and here to help her grow through the scholarship.
If you enjoyed this update on Sienna, be sure to check out our other blogs and find out more about Austin and Peyton. Stay tuned for more updates. Also if you or someone you know wants to have the chance to be one of our next scholarship recipients, head on over to the application form and submit an application. The application period ends December 31st.