Editor's note: This corrects the spelling of Marica Pendjer's name.
More than a decade ago, while at a Susan G. Komen for the Cure race in Newport Beach, Marica Pendjer saw something that had a profound effect on her life.
She saw a little girl with her dad walking in memory of her mother, whom she lost to breast cancer.
"I'm not a crier, I'm not a super-emotional person, but when they walked by and I realized that this little girl had lost her mom to this disease, my throat just closed up," Pendjer said. "That's when I made the Komen promise my own. That little girl will never know the impact she had on me."
Ever since, Pendjer, 44, has been involved with the foundation and has served in many roles and capacities. This year, Pendjer is chairwoman of the 19th annual Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure, which is taking place 6:30 a.m. to noon Sunday at the Pacific Life building near Fashion Island in Newport Beach.