“Breath of Hope” Walk Dedicated to Balboa Park Employee

Craig Blower was the Chief Operating Officer at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for more than 15 years

This year’s annual “Breath of Hope” walk was dedicated to Craig Blower, the Chief Operating Officer at Balboa Park’s Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for more than 15 years.

Blower passed away two weeks ago from lung cancer.

Hundreds of people came out to Cancer Survivors Park at Spanish Landing for UC San Diego's annual 5K, which helps raise money for lung cancer research and supports people living with the disease.

Every year the "Breath of Hope" walk funds at least one clinical trial at UCSD's Moore's Cancer Center.

"This is my mom's legacy,” Rebeca Enriquez, the "Breath of Hope" Chair told NBC 7. “This is what I get to be a part of to honor her every year, her doctors, her nurses, the people who supported us and brought us chemo dinners, the people who gave us a community.”

Eight years ago Enriquez, along with her mother Maria and several other patients, started the walk. Maria Enriquez, who never smoked, passed away in 2013. 

Blower, who was diagnosed in 2013, kept an online blog of his journey through the disease. He often used humor to deal with the diagnosis with posts such as “To Benign or Not to Benign: No Longer the Question,” and another “Can a Mole Get a Sunburn?”

“I have two options: focus on the positive or the negative. The negative doesn’t do me or anybody else any good, so I’d rather stay on the positive side as much as possible and hope that’s forever,” said Blower in an interview with NBC 7 two years ago.

Blower, who never smoked a day in his life, lived in Scripps Ranch and volunteered every Wednesday at Rady Children's Hospital for 25 years.

He will be remembered Sunday at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

More than a thousand people are expected to attend the ceremony.

NBC 7 was the exclusive sponsor of the “Breath of Hope" walk. 

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