When firefighter Sara Thomas died two years ago, her loved ones and firefighter family vowed to never forget her.
On what would have been her 44 birthday, they’re keeping that promise with a memorial walk run named in her honor.
“I’m walking because I want my daughter to be remembered, I don’t ever want my daughter to ever be forgotten … I miss her everyday.” says her mom Mirna Flores as she holds back tears.
This day is especially meaningful to Olivia and Mirna, Thomas‘ young twin daughters who live with her memory everyday.
“I feel happy because there’s a lot of love and support,”says Olivia.
“She’s awesome and kind and I miss her a lot,” says Mirna.
Thomas was a Cal Fire firefighter for 16 years. Her life was cut short by an illness that strikes down firefighters all too often, cancer.
She left an indelible mark in the hearts of her firefighter brothers.
“We called her mama bear so she kind of took care of us … she was a great firefighter, a good friend,” says Brian Kelly, a firefighter / paramedic with Cal Fire Riverside County.
She was also known for her smile and sense of humor, something not lost on firefighter Jesus Ortega who decided to do the three mile run in full gear.
Ortega can’t help but laugh thinking of what she’d say, “Yeah, she’s watching, she’s probably laughing at me right now, she’s like, That dummy why is he running with all that gear?'”
Team Sara stayed strong through the more than six thousand steps from fire station 86 in Indio to her final resting place to celebrate a beautiful life.