Native Ridgeite races to raise money for brain tumor research, support

June 20, 2014 Editorial Staff
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In 2010, Bay Ridge native Claudia De Pinto was hospitalized with symptoms, which were initially mistaken for vertigo, until she was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball. Each year, she undergoes surgery, and currently has five percent of the tumor left, with no signs of regrowth.

“You don’t know what it’s like until it’s actually said to you and it’s hard because you don’t know what to do,” she said. “I didn’t know how it would turn out, if I would have problems, what it would’ve been like. [But] I’m grateful to have what I have, be who I am.”

Today, the Astoria resident is doing well and is a committee member for the National Brain Tumor Society. She enjoys being involved with the society and has her own team called “Claudia’s Sunshine,” which will participate for the fourth time in the 5K New York Brain Tumor Walk on Saturday, June 21 at Icahn Stadium at Randall’s Island Park.

The name of her team came from her days in the hospital when she didn’t know if it was daylight out and all she wanted to see was the sun. This year’s goal is to raise as much money as possible by walking in honor of Emily Morrison, who lost her battle to a rare and inoperable tumor, and to help others living with a brain tumor.

Not letting anything stop her, last year De Pinto completed the Spartan Race, a race consisting of series of obstacles and distance ranging in difficultness, which she didn’t think she could do. She hopes to motivate and inspire others with her story.

Currently, she works as a Housekeeping manager at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan. On the side, she is in the process of obtaining her personal training certification.

As for the future, “I want to continue to raise awareness, physical fitness and continue fundraising,” she concluded.

If you wish to join De Pinto’s team, you can sign up on under New York Brain Tumor Walk. If you cannot join in person, you can support her team by making a donation or volunteering your time.

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