His sister Christina is a breast cancer survivor. After witnessing her struggle through treatment and toward recovery, Dela Cruz felt compelled to dedicate his travel to 30 countries, practicing yoga, to all women diagnosed with breast cancer. “May they find the courage and strength to overcome this obstacle and be free of the pain and suffering,” he says.
Dela Cruz was introduced to Hatha Yoga in 2001. After finishing yoga teacher training under the famous Baron Baptiste of the Baron Baptiste Power Yoga Institute in Tulum, Mexico, Dela Cruz opened his own yoga studio on Guam, where his parents and siblings are based. Since then, he has trained under Power Yoga founder Bryan Kest and Bhakti Urban Flow founder Rusty Wells. He moved to Manila in 2009 and opened Bliss Yoga with a business partner.
During his journey which will cover six continents, he intends to create awareness about breast cancer, as well as raise funds for breast cancer organizations connected to his blog, www.myglobalmandala.com.
“The seed of this journey was planted in my mind in 2010. I was inspired by a video I had seen on YouTube about a gentleman who documented his travel around the entire world. I thought I’d like to do that one day but with a purpose. Hence the union of the two – my desire to travel the world and create awareness about a cause so close to home,” DelaCruz says.
In the Philippines, he chose ICanServe Foundation, as his beneficiary. “When I shared my project with close friends, I solicited their help on which foundations I can support. They all mentioned ICanServe Foundation. I further researched the foundation and found it to be in line with my project.”
Dela Cruz believes anyone who has been inflicted by breast cancer in any way–those battling or who have battled this disease, and family members and friends of breast cancer victims—have a huge part to play in raising awareness and getting help to those in need.
“Truthfully speaking, everyone should help. Breast cancer does not discriminate. It sees no age, race, or orientation. Everyone, male or female, is a target and should be aware of the importance of early detection,” says Dela Cruz.
ICanServe Foundation teaches barangay health workers how to do proper clinical breast examination to aid in early detection. Women 30 years and older are advised to undergo annual clinical breast examination by a physician or other trained health worker. In the Philippines where diagnostic equipment such asmammography machines are available only in urban centers, clinical breast examination is an important way for underserved communities to check for breast cancer.
“I hope everyone will support the cause. No one should ever have to endure the pain, be it physical or emotional, breast cancer inflicts. Not just for the victim but for those close to them too. We are all put here to take care of one another,” says Dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz will also be raising funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a Texas-based organization that provides mammograms to those who cannot afford it in the US.