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Mayra L. Piña, a key fundraiser for more than 30 years for Miami’s La Liga Contra el Cancer, or League Against Cancer, died Thursday from cardiac disease. She was 68.
Piña, born in Cuba, started volunteering with the nonprofit organization in the 1980s. She developed into one of the key leaders in the group, which raises funds to help people battle cancer.
As vice president of the League’s executive board, she organized several capital campaigns such as televised marathons and children’s fashion shows. The League raised nearly $5 million in 2016.
The donations allowed the League to help cancer survivors with paying for medicines, home visits, psychological support and even wigs.
“Mayra was a very generous woman. She helped everyone. She never had a rude gesture or used an ugly word. She was always very sweet,” said Hilda Mena, a League volunteer.
Piña told el Nuevo Herald in 2015 that the League’s success was the result of the commitment of all its volunteers: “The doctors, the executives and the boards of directors are all volunteers. We’re not even reimbursed for our gasoline.”
Piña is survived by her husband, Jose Antonio Piña, their sons Alexander and Christopher and three grandchildren.
The League Against Cancer was founded in Miami in 1975 and has helped more than 60,000 people. The organization is modeled after a similar group that began in Havana in 1925.