PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gualberto Carhuaslla and his daughter, Antonia, pound the pavement of their Squirrel Hill neighborhood, training for those 10 kilometers in Sunday’s Great Race.
Gualberto, a native of Peru whose first love is soccer, says it’s not easy keeping up with a daughter who has run half-marathons.
“She’s not allowed to beat me,” he laughs. “That’s a contract we signed up.”
“My entire life he’s been challenging me to do better and coaching me in sports and just challenging me better in life,” Antonia Carhuaslla responds. “So yeah, I’ve always tried to keep up with him, always trying to show him up. And make him proud.”
This is Antonia’s first Great Race and her father’s second. The last time he ran was 31 years ago.
But this time, he’ll be running for his grandnephew in Peru. Two-year-old Matias Alcantra has severe Apert syndrome, a genetic disorder which affects brain development, and causes fingers and toes to fuse together.
Matias needs several operations, at a price his parents can’t afford. His uncle and family created a Facebook page.
“I was thinking what can I do?” Gualberto says. “So when I saw the Great Race, I said why not? I have friends. I have family. If I run the Great Race, and I posted that for every kilometer that I will run, that I would appreciate your contribution.”
His Facebook page tells Matias’s story, and reveals the generosity of friends the boy will never meet. Gualberto Carhuaslla’s fund raising won’t end at Sunday’s finish line. Matias’s uncle knows the marathon has just begun.
For more information, visit Matias’s Facebook page.