Cancer Survivor Will Participate in ARS LA Marathon Team

Sona Arabian trains for the marathon

GLENDALE—Cancer survivor Sona Donayan Arabian will run the ASICS LA Marathon on Sunday, March 17, 2013, as part of the Armenian Relief Society of Western US team. This is the second year that the ARS will be participating as an official charity of the ASICS LA Marathon. There are 5 people on the ARS team who are running to help raise funds for the ARS “Heart to Heart” fund for immigrants in need.

A day earlier, on March 16, an ARS team will also participate in the LABIG5K, which is a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) run or walk starting at Dodger Stadium.

The marathon covers a 26.2 mile distance starting at Dodger Stadium and ending in Santa Monica. Runners can choose to run the full marathon for the ARS team or participate in the charity relay, whereby two participants each cover half the distance of 13.1 miles in a relay format. Arabian will run the entire marathon with her fiancé, Sako Defterderian.

Arabian is excited to be a part of the ARS team and help raise funds for the ARS “Heart to Heart” fund to help those in need. Her aim is not just to help others through the ARS, but to inspire those who are struggling in their lives, and especially those who are battling cancer.

Arabian, a nutrition instructor, had completed 18 marathons before she found out about her lymphoma in October 2009. Because running had helped her to be in such good shape, she was able to withstand the increasing doses of chemotherapy and was able to participate in the Pasadena Half-Marathon the next fall. A couple of days later, she felt very accomplished to show off her medal to her medical team at the City of Hope.

“Sona is a role model with her determination to finish any race that she starts,” said Lena Bozoyan, ARS Regional Executive Chairperson. She added, “We are very pleased that she had decided to promote the ARS team and help raise funds for our clients who are going through difficulties in their lives.”

ARS team members will be provided with t-shirts bearing the ARS logo and the names of the team sponsors. Past participants continue to come back to the 5K with family and friends, encouraging a healthy life style.

Those interested in joining the ARS 5K or marathon teams, or making a donation in support of the ARS team to encourage those who will be walking or running are urged to contact the ARS regional headquarters at (818) 500-1343 or

The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA, established in 1984 and with regional headquarters in Glendale, CA, has 27 chapters and more than 1,500 members in five western states. The ARS-WUSA operates a Social Services Division and Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center, and funds numerous youth programs, scholarships, and relief efforts. For further information, please visit or call 818-500-1343.


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