Published on : Saturday, September 8, 2018
What began as an annual 5k Run in 2008, the Run of Hope has since morphed into a community endeavour with more than USD 3.6 million raised, making it one of the top three guilds at Seattle Children’s Hospital and one of the most successful events in Four Seasons global efforts to advance cancer research. In its 10th year, the Run of Hope is on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at Seward Park in Seattle.
A partnership built on hope, the collaboration between Four Seasons Hotel Seattle and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund is more than the annual run/walk. It is a story of families and friends of patients, volunteers, local businesses and community members who work tirelessly throughout the year to host mini-fundraising events, support groups and more.
“A dear friend learned about this event and thought it would be a good place for our friends and loved ones to focus their efforts,” said Kristie Berg, whose daughter Avery was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive cancer with only 100 cases a year in the US. The family spent the next several weeks figuring out Avery’s treatment plan, but also educating themselves on pediatric brain tumours.
“We were shocked and saddened by the lack of federal funding and research,” continued Berg. “We fervently started spreading the news about our fundraising efforts and raised almost USD 150,000 for Team Awesome Avery that year. It was a wonderful way to focus on something positive during something so devastating.”
Brain tumours are the leading cause of death in children with cancer. However, less than 3 percent of all federal research dollars in the United States goes towards helping children.
“The reason why pediatric brain tumours are so underfunded is because it is not known about. But when people have loved ones going through this, they spread awareness. It’s events like these that are the difference makers,” said Avery.
Over the last nine years, the Run of Hope has contributed to important research such as clinical trials for multiple brain tumours types, precision medicine, pediatric immunotherapy, and early tumours paint trials.
“The road ahead is long and daunting, but it is also filled with hope. It is because of events like Run of Hope and places like Seattle Children’s Hospital that we can gratefully say this,” said Berg.
The fundraising goal for 2018 is USD 1 million. Teams and individuals can register and make donations for the timed run/walk online by September 19, 2018.
“We’ve come a long way and every year I’m amazed to see the collaborative effort from families and friends, survivors and the Seattle community as they continue to help make an impact in the lives of children with brain tumours,” said Erin Cordry, Run of Hope co-chair and president of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund. “We make it to our goal to improve the survival rates for children in desperate need.”..