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The Baller Dream Foundation set to honor local ‘Ballers’ at fall fundraiser

(L-R) Frank DeBlasi, Aritzve Aguirre Texcahua, Dustin Joiner, Ali Alipour
(L-R) Frank DeBlasi, Aritzve Aguirre Texcahua, Dustin Joiner, Ali Alipour
(Courtesy of The Baller Dream Foundation)

The Baller Dream Foundation, an uplifting nonprofit that supports children and young adults battling cancer, will celebrate its three local “Ballers” at an event starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21. Held at Monarch Ocean Pub, this will be the second San Diego fundraiser for the uplifting organization.

“We had an incredible first event introducing San Diegans to The Baller Dream Foundation and the inspiring and special Ballers we’ve met through Rady Children’s Hospital,” said Frank DeBlasi, the founder of The Baller Dream Foundation and himself a cancer survivor. “We’re thrilled to be back in San Diego for our second event and to be able to honor these inspiring Ballers with incredible gifts and experiences we have planned for them.”

The California Ballers include nine-year-old Aritzve Aguirre Texcahua, 18-year-old Dustin Joiner and 22-year-old Ali Alipour. All three Ballers are in the midst of bravely fighting different types of cancers. The trio also share a desire to enter the medical field as a career. Aguirre Texcahua, who enjoys snacking on Turbos, watching “Moana” and eating pizza, aspires to be a nurse when she grows up. Joiner recently graduated high school and wants to pursue a career as a nurse or fireman. He enjoys watching football, especially his favorites Drew Brees (now retired) and the New Orleans Saints. Alipour is currently working to complete his pre-med program at UC San Diego with aspirations of becoming a radiation oncologist. He enjoys eating pretzels and pizzas, and watching his favorite show, “House.”

Founded by DeBlasi, a testicular cancer survivor, The Baller Dream Foundation has been supporting its Ballers since 2007 when DeBlasi hosted the first small gathering for friends and concertgoers on the grounds of Saratoga State Park. That initial gathering began a stream of annual events that has grown dramatically in size over the years, and proceeds raised at the events have benefited a national cancer foundation. In 2013, DeBlasi shifted the focus of the foundation to support of children and young adults affected by cancer. The recipients are called “Ballers,” a modern-day term that suggests one is doing well, feeling well and in control; and the foundation’s Ballers are resilient, courageous and deserving of recognition. Since its inception, the nonprofit has honored and celebrated numerous children in New York, Alabama, Arizona, New Jersey and Nevada, working closely with children’s hospitals to provide various gifts, experiences and activities.

A fun and inspiring event, the San Diego fundraiser is slated to begin at 2 p.m. Guests will be treated to bites and beverages by local businesses, set to breathtaking panoramic ocean views from atop the rooftop deck. Details, tickets and sponsorships are available on the website at ballerdream.org/sandiego.


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