September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. St. Jude being one of the top leading organizations that support finding a cure for childhood cancer, partnered up with our Miami Famous Samurai Piggy in August. You’re probably wondering, what does this have to do with food? And the answer is EVERYTHING. Miami’s food community is ever expanding and through helping nonprofit organizations like Samurai Piggy and Friends, INC. I have learned how amazing it is as well. Before I lead into the full blown story I would like to introduce the man of the hour.
So who’s the man behind the big beard and huge smile in the photos above? That is Haidar Hachem, a type one diabetic since the age of two and also a cancer survivor as well. Haidar is famously known throughout the running and local Miami community as Samurai Piggy. If you have ever ran a race in Miami then for sure you have seen him, he’s usually in a pink speedo, piggy beanie hat, and his bib number that covers his you know what!. The above photos show him in his UNNATURAL state as he is wearing too much clothing! Ha! Although Haidar’s norm has been life with type one diabetes, he was only diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in 2012 and began his remission in 2013. Cancer was a huge point of view adjustment for him but it was also what acted as a catalyst to start his running career. Haidar runs because it makes him feel alive, it brings him solace, and while he has gone against all of the odds and the hand life dealt him, he doesn’t let that stop him from living life to the fullest. You’d never know this man has dealt with these illnesses just looking at him. He always has a smile on his face, he encourages everyone around him to be their best version of themselves by doing just that himself! I actually met Haidar during my first half marathon this year back in January. On my 12th mile I was ready to give up, it was a cold, nonstop rainy day in Miami, and my mind was taking over me by constantly reminding me of how tired I already was. Then… To my surprise… Here I see a naked man running past me, clapping for his friend who he was pacing, and cheering people on around him. All this while naked, with just a speedo on. Right when I wanted to stop I told myself, “Oh hell no! If this naked man has ran this long then I can finish this! I am fully clothed!” And so I began to sprint. I finished my race and did not stop because Samurai Piggy worked his magic without even knowing.
This is the man St. Jude partnered up with. On August 19th many Miami local food vendors helped support and bring Samurai Piggy’s first ever event come to life. This event was a non-profit 24 hour running event where Samurai Piggy ran a total of 75 miles while many jumped in and out to help accompany him and show that Miami cares! All of the vendors (which will be named at the end) donated to Samurai Piggy’s St. Jude fundraiser, donated food, drinks, goodies, and some even showed up to run too! The most beautiful thing I saw in helping Samurai Piggy with his event was how much the foodie community cares. Which takes me back to what I mentioned in my ‘about me’ section; I have mentioned that food and cooking is art. From farmer, cook, owner, distributor, and / or influencer to a table for the community the art in the making is happiness and love. An event that one loving man brought together (Haidar) there was a fire that was lit and so many people of the community saw the light, followed it, and came through to make this bigger than ever imagined. Haidar was able to raise a total of $1435.00 which was $435.00 above his goal and ran 75 miles which was 25 miles more than he has ever ran in this life nonstop! His miles were dedicated to Cancer survivors like himself or to those who were ever affected by Cancer.
So who is Samurai Piggy? He’s just a 28 year old man who runs for the ones who can’t, speaks up for those who have a small voice or no voice at all, smiles at the darkness to shed light where it is needed, and runs to save lives, because running saved his. Below you can see Haidar in his NATURAL state and all smiles.
A huge thank you to all of the beautiful local organizations that helped make this event a beautiful one. And extended gratitude goes out to Doug who is the owner at Go Run and also to the entire Go Run family for not only staying open 24 hours but also for staying true to the love of running in Miami, FL and for supporting such a beautiful soul like Samurai Piggy. Below are the coolest people you can ever know, feel free to search for them on all social media platforms as follows are appreciated and I am sure they will only upgrade your newsfeeds. This is only the beginning for Samurai Piggy. Stay tuned on the St. Jude event as there will be a Miami local run in September, which was postponed because of Hurricane Irma. You better believe that Samurai Piggy will be there!
St. Jude website for Miami walk / run :
Samurai Piggy’s nonprofit website :
Samurai Piggy’s influencer blog :
Below are Samurai Piggy’s 24 hour St. Jude’s event vendors :