Help Fight Pediatric Cancer at Emily's Rainbow Run
Registration is open for the fourth annual event honoring Emily Lewis.
Hundreds of runners and volunteers will fill Westlake High School stadium April 29 and pound the pavement to end childhood cancer at the fourth annual Emily's Rainbow Run. Registration for the 4-mile run, 2-mile walk/run and the kids' runs is now open online and by mail.
Emily Lewis was a fourth-grader at Hilliard Elementary School when doctors found a lump in her abdomen that turned out to be Wilms tumor, a pediatric kidney cancer.
A successful surgery removed the tumor, but the cancer had already spread and after three years of fighting the disease. Emily herself was able to make it to the first event, but died in 2009. Emily's Rainbow Run was at first a way for the community to show support for Emily, but now is a way for Emily's legacy to help others.
“So many people wanted to know what they could do for our family,” said Debbie Lewis, Emily’s mother.
Cathy Milowikci, the mother of Emily’s best friend Carrie, organized the first Emily’s Rainbow Run and Family Walk in 2009 to raise awareness of pediatric cancers like Emily's, to raise funds for research and to support Emily.
"Being a bystander and watching how gracefully the Lewises managed (Emily's) illness, diagnosis and treatment, and finally her passing was really inspiring," Milowikci said. "It made us change our priorities and we can see what’s important in life and we’re so grateful to be healthy. As a family, we feel an obligation to remember her and we want to make sure we continue her legacy. She was a fighter and you never would have known what she went through."
Last year's event drew more than 850 runners and 100 volunteers. Organizers were able to donate $20,000 to pediatric cancer research at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.
The event includes a 4-mile race at 8 a.m., a 2-mile walk/run at 8:05 a.m. and a Kids Run at 9:15 a.m. All races will be at the Westlake High School track.
Registration for the 4-mile and 2-mile runs is $20 for runners 19 and older and $15 for 18 and older before April 24. Late or day-of registration is $25. Registration for the kids run is $5 no matter when you sign up.