Runners and their supporters at Paige’s Butterfly Run have raised more than $2 million over the last 20 years to support pediatric cancer research and cancer care at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.
The 2018 run will be held this Saturday, June 2, in downtown Syracuse, during the annual Taste of Syracuse festival. The event includes a 5K race, a 3K fun run/walk and a 40-foot Caterpillar Crawl for children 5 and younger. For details, go to www.pbrun.org.
Chris Arnold and Ellen Yeomans started the run in honor of their daughter Paige, who died from leukemia in 1994. Over the years, the run has become the centerpiece of a year-round fundraising effort coordinated by the Paige’s board. Other events include a Pedaling for Paige event, a Clams for Cures clambake and a Pajamarama, in which students and teachers make donations and in return get to wear pajamas to school on a certain day.
Last year’s 20th anniversary run brought in $210,000, which was presented to the children’s hospital in the form of a check. “The contributions from Paige’s Run have a direct impact on the families receiving care at Upstate but also support research in the hope of ending childhood cancer for all,” says Toni Gary, director of community relations for The Upstate Foundation.
Money from Paige’s helps pay for a variety of services, including:
— materials for sand therapy, a type of therapy where ill children can express themselves by creating scenes using figurines in a sand table;
— a “family fun” fund that child life specialists tap to help pay for birthday and holiday celebrations;
— equipment for hemophilia patients;
— backpack comfort kits (with toiletries and gift cards for food and gas) for newly diagnosed patients;
— assistance for families who have financial difficulties as a result of their child’s illness;
— burial costs and grief counseling;
— neuropsychological testing for children with cancer;
— education for local and outlying doctors and other medical providers;
— and research projects related to childhood cancer.
This article appears in the spring 2018 issue of Upstate Health magazine