Pediatric Brain Cancer
“It was a Thursday night when my water broke with our third child, a daughter — the princess of our family. Five years later, it was a Thursday morning when we learned her brain was herniating due to a massive brain tumor and we rushed her to the ER for emergency surgery. It was 68 consecutive Thursdays the following year that we would take her to chemotherapy appointments to combat brain cancer. We are still braving Thursdays, and want to help other families so that they can have an easier journey.”
~ Robyn Sandoval, Co-Owner and Executive Director of A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG)
Robyn has dedicated her life to empowering women with armed and unarmed self-defense skills, safety and marksmanship training, and community and friendship. Now, she empowers women as mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers to learn the symptoms and signs of pediatric brain cancer. Through AG & AG, Robyn hopes to educate others about the symptoms of pediatric brain cancer, so that families can get earlier diagnoses. She also hopes to raise awareness about charities and foundations that are working to improve the lives of the fighters and fund research for a cure.
Know the signs of pediatric brain cancer: Ataxia, Nausea, Headaches, Fatigue, Blurred Vision
Kiara’s diagnosis came just a week before the 3rd Annual AG & AG National Training Conference, with more than 300 women gathering in Austin, TX. Robyn says, “It was as though God gathered an army of his strongest prayer warriors for us that week. Mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and strangers prayed for Kiara with thunderous resolve. Women shooting on the range would cease fire and those in lecture classes would stop, and they would take selfies and text me to let me know there were there in ICU with us. Throughout the day and night, I received constant prayers and encouragement.
On the night of the Conference Bang-quet the nurses assured me that Kiara was stable, so my mother-in-law stayed with her while my husband and mother took me to say hello to the women at Conference. I was there just a brief time to say hello, when a giant rainbow emerged over the tent. It was clear that God was there and prayers were being heard. When I tell people that the AG & AG motto is ‘It’s More Than Shooting’ I assure them it’s not a catchy tagline or marketing slogan; it’s so much more. I couldn’t have made it through those dark days without these strong women — and so many others around the world — standing with me.”
On Nov. 27, 2017, one of our long-time AG & AG members, Jennifer Smith, was tragically killed by her husband before he ended his own life. Jennifer was a founding member of the San Antonio chapter, had many friends in AG & AG, and participated in many training events. Three young daughters will forever be without their mother. We do not know, and may never know, the details that led to this tragic event, but it was a poignant reminder that a home is not always a safe place.
The Jennifer Smith Scholarship Fund has been established for women and girls to obtain training at our events. We will honor Jennifer by keeping her legacy as a friend and loving mother, so that our sister’s last act upon this earth may be used for something good.
Many Worthy Causes
We have several causes that are near to our hearts. Many chapters of A Girl & A Gun have adopted a charity to give back to their local communities. Fundraisers are conducted throughout the year. The purpose is to support these organizations and bring awareness to their missions. Here are some of these charitable organizations: