Downtown Los Angeles header image
Los Angeles Police Department Memorial Badge


News Release

Friday, February 28, 2003

Media Relations

The Mom Behind The Explorer


Los Angeles: John Renderos is 16 years of age and has been a Sergeant in the Explorer program for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foothill Division for the last two years. This year he will be running the Los Angeles Marathon. His brother Stephen, who is 14, and his mother Maria will join him in this endeavor.

His mother Maria is a true inspiration for her three children. During the third month of her pregnancy she was advised by her physician to remain in bed for the duration of her pregnancy. However, due to severe complications, the baby was removed two months short of term by cesarean section. According to the doctor’s prognosis, Maria had a 10% chance of survival and would be mentally impaired due to the onset of fever to her brain. She was in intensive care for 32 days and subsequently transferred to a separate wing of the hospital where she remained incubated for an additional three months. A year later, after the removal of her appendix, doctors discovered that she had diabetes.

Faced with yet another setback, Maria was not going to let this stop her. For the past seven years she has maintained her sugar levels with diet, exercise and medication. And, believe it or not, Maria will be running side by side with her two sons this year.

Officer Joel Frias of Juvenile Division has trained and prepared a running team that has participated in the last two L.A. Marathon’s. The group has grown to a total of 28 young runners, along with supportive parents, and other officers who will be running in this year’s marathon.

This is a story of courage, tenacity and faith. Maria is very thankful to Officer Frias for his support in her effort to train and prepare for this opportunity to join her two sons in this memorable event.

For those wishing further information regarding this story, Officer Frias is available for further comment. He can be reached at 213-485-3133 or 805-312-1480.

This press release was prepared by Officer Don Cox, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.