DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The CancerFree KIDS' Butterfly Walk & 5K raised more than $107,000 for childhood cancer research Saturday morning.
Hundreds of people attended Saturday’s 16th annual Butterfly Walk, including several survivors of childhood cancer.
CancerFree KIDS funds high-risk, high-reward cancer research projects.
“We are the seed funder, if you want to call it that,” said Jill Brinck, executive director of CancerFree KIDS. “There is very little money that's out there for pediatric cancer at large. So what we do is we really help the idea have a chance and get off the ground to allow for some proof-of-concept data to be discovered, so that they can continue that research.”
The money will fund research at Cincinnati Children’s and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Brinck says the $7 million that CancerFree KIDS has invested in research has resulted in $71 million in subsequent funding.
Saturday's event at Cottell Park in Deerfield Township included a 5K course and a one-mile Inspirational Walk.
“The kids get to meet other kids who have gone through their journey and who have the same battle scars and know what it's like,” Brinck said. “Moms get to talk to each other and dads get to talk to each other.”
Kentucky mom Erin Ludwig said she hopes the research can help find new treatments and drugs that are easier for children to take. Her son, Colin, has been off treatments for six months after beating leukemia.
“Having a child go through what he had to go through is something you never wish upon anybody,” said Josh Ludwig, Colin’s dad. “It was so hard watching him get through it.”
“He was on tons of medications because of the side effects of chemo,” Erin said. “So the more research the better.”
You can find more information about CancerFree KIDS and make a donation here.
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