20-plus years of helping kids and their families fight cancer

Runners of all ages participate in Paige’s Butterfly Run to support children with cancer. (photo by Susan Keeter)

Runners of all ages participate in Paige’s Butterfly Run to support children with cancer. (photo by Susan Keeter)

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.

Paige Arnold, in whose memory the run was founded in 1997 by teachers, friends and family in her memory.

Paige Arnold, in whose memory the run was founded in 1997 by teachers, friends and family in her memory.

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.

Tutus and butterfly wings were part of the uniform for this YMCA team at Paige's Butterfly Run. (photo by Susan Keeter)

Tutus and butterfly wings were part of the uniform for this YMCA team at Paige’s Butterfly Run. (photo by Susan Keeter)

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;

Jillian Tandle, Samantha Prayne and Eden Prayner came from Seneca Falls to take part in the event. (photo by Susan Keeter)

Jillian Tandle, Samantha Prayne and Eden Prayner came from Seneca Falls to take part in the event. (photo by Susan Keeter)

— 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.

William Baugh, center, and his family volunteer at Paige’s Butterfly Run in memory of their daughter, Arie, who died of kidney cancer at 22 months. (photo by Susan Keeter)

William Baugh, center, and his family volunteer at Paige’s Butterfly Run in memory of their daughter, Arie, who died of kidney cancer at 22 months. (photo by Susan Keeter)

Cancer Care magazine spring 2018 coverThis article appears in the spring 2018 issue of Upstate Health magazine

 

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