Two young, high profile Taekwondo competitors have hung up their medals in honor of helping mothers with breast cancer. They’re known as the “Wishing Warriors” and both are San Diego residents.
Channah Zeitung, 5, and Rayna Vallandingham, 10, decided they wanted to perform at different schools wearing their pink belts to raise money for mothers with breast cancer. The girls have gone on a Pink Belt Tour around the nation to grant wishes.
Although the girls have traded in their medals, the girls love to compete; this is what they want to do.
Through the help of Wishing for Mommy, a nonprofit organization for providing grants of $500 to mothers fighting cancer, the girls will grant wishes to the mothers. Mother of Zeitung, Gloria Zeitung’s friend started the organization. Her mother also helps the girls raise money.
So far the girls have granted 11 wishes.
One of the recipients of the grant money used it to help pay for outside medical services for her cancer that her insurance wouldn’t cover, according to Gloria Zeitung.
She was surprised by what this mother used her grant money for; most mothers use the money to go shopping or a day at the spa. It was then that she realized that the grant money should be increased if these women are going to use the money to pay for expensive medical expenses.
They will be working on this next year.
Gloria Zeitung said she’d rather have her daughter helping other people and those in the community than being given a title.
“This is more beneficial and rewarding than an actual title,” she said.
“What can a mother say? Other than to say something that is good,” she also said, regarding supporting her daughter’s desire to help others.
She recalled a time when they gave a mother a grant money check and she saw the look on her daughter’s face.
“She made someone happy, and [the mother’s] little boy happy.”
A lot of the mothers that have received a grant seem to think they are heroes, she said.
“We’re really not.”
When Gloria Zeitung and the girls first started raising money they just wanted to help.
“… When you actually meet the granters, it’s emotional.”
Originally Wishing for Mommy was only supposed to be for the holidays, but now it’s being done year round.
Now they’re going to hit every holiday, including Valentine’s Day and Easter, said Gloria Zeitung. This gives them enough time to raise money and give it out.
The girls’ instructor Mike Chat, founder of extreme martial arts known as XMA, has helped the girls achieve their goal, and he fully supports the girls.
“If this can inspire other children to get involved to help others…isn’t that a message a parent is supposed to teach their children?” Gloria Zeitung asked.
She hopes that one day her daughter will become giving, understanding, and hopes that she will realize that you have to give back to others.
“To teach her this now, I hope it will guide her in the right direction,” she said.
You can pick up a pink belt at Elite Martial Arts in Temecula or by going to wishingformommy.org.