Aguilar 5K memorial scholarship walk

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- She was a young scholar at the U of A and an activist. The family of Consuelo Aguilar wants her legacy to live on for other students.

Sunday there was a 5K to raise money for a memorial scholarship.

There were no tears, just laughter. No mourning, but joyful celebration for the U of A student who achieved so much in a very short lifetime.

Mario Aguilar lost his daughter Consuelo in 2009 after the 26-year-old was diagnosed with sarcoma.

"The doctors had told us you get it on the limbs, Consuelo got it on her aorta and it was very difficult to treat," said Mario Aguilar.

Six months later, Consuelo died. But the university's ethnic studies faculty decided the legacy of their accomplished grad must live. The department established a scholarship.

"I hope that we can go from 10,000 to 20,000 to 40,000, support as many students as we can at the undergraduate level," said Antonio Estrada, professor of Mexican-American studies

During her time at the U of A, Consuelo had achieved a masters degree, created the university's first Hispanic student club, and organized the annual Cesar Chavez march.

"Somebody so young who did so much that's the perfect role model.  And this scholarship's going to help a lot of people," said University of Arizona Hispanic alumni Samuel De La Cruz.

Consuelo's father says even after his daughter became sick she pressed on.

"She always blew it off as an allergy and she just kept going," said Aguilar.

Battling cancer gave Consuelo another passion. She began to promote cancer awareness so that healthy living and early detection might prevent another family from losing a loved one so soon.

"Don't procrastinate, take care of yourself.  All your dreams and hopes are for not if you don't take care of yourself," said Aguilar.

Donations to Consuelo Aguilar's memorial scholarship can be made by making checks payable to the UAF/Mex Amer Studies with Aguilar Scholarship in the memo line.

Donations should be mailed to:
The University of Arizona
Dept. of Mexican American Studies
Cesar Chavez, Rm. 208
P.O. Box 210023
Tucson, AZ 85721-0023
Attn: Veronica Peralta