One amazing marathon. 26 inspiring stories. A whole new way to give. See how your children's hospital has had an impact on their lives. Meet our 2013 Patient Champions here.
When Skyler came into this world, he was a healthy, full-term baby. But complications shortly after his delivery resulted in a brain injury, which led the Seymour family to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Skyler spent the first two months of his life in the NICU, fighting for his life. After his first birthday, Skyler received the diagnosis of cerebral palsy.Since then, Skyler has continued to receive world-class care at Nationwide Children’s. Along with that care, his family has also been a part of Nationwide Children’s, learning about cerebral palsy and what it means to live with it.
While Skyler lives with cerebral palsy, he still fully participates in life. “He is an inspiration to all who meet him,” says Brittney, Skyler’s mother, “His diagnosis definitely does not stop him! He plays baseball for the Miracle League and is part of a running group called myTeam Triumph. He even ran his first 5K with his dad last fall. He is an amazing kid!”
Let Skyler’s journey inspire you from the very beginning – he will be kick-starting the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon this year on Mile One. Support Skyler's team now!
Mile 1 is proudly sponsored by
When Will first arrived to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2011, his only way of communicating was with a head nod. His family wasn’t sure if he would every talk again, let alone walk. They were in a horrific accident that left Will in critical condition in Nebraska, with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). After spending five weeks in the Intensive Care Unit in Nebraska, he was transferred to Nationwide Children’s, where he would stay for the next five months. Every day was filled with activity for Will on the rehabilitation floor. He worked tirelessly with speech, physical, and occupational therapists. Soon, Will said his first word – “mom” – laughed out loud, walked with assistance, and regained the confidence he had lost since his accident.
Today, Will relies on a wheelchair most of the time, but he continues to grow stronger every day. During last year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, Will’s sister was moved to tears as she rounded a corner on the race and saw Will, standing with assistance, cheering her on. The Smith family hopes to offer you the same inspiration as they cheer for runners and walkers on Mile Two. Meet Will. Support Will's team now!
Mile 1 is proudly sponsored by
Before Garison “Colt” Marcum turned two years old, he was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), which has no cure. Colt’s parents took him to a pediatrician when they noticed that he had swollen ankles and knees, and was soon in so much pain that he quit trying to walk. Colt, who is right-handed, even began to compensate for the pain he was feeling in his right side by using his left hand to color and eat.
At Nationwide Children’s, Colt received steroid injections in his joints, along with other medication to help him feel less pain. Soon after his care at Nationwide Children’s began, Colt began to have more energy and eventually, that charming smile was back on his face. His pain was going away. And forget about walking again – Colt prefers to run! While his JRA is being managed in the very best ways, Colt still has complications due to his weakened immune system, a side effect of his medications.
Now that Colt is receiving the care he requires to be a happy and healthy child, he doesn’t stop going. “He is so happy that he can run and jump and pick things up with his right hand and use his right hand again, that he literally hasn't stopped since,” says Colt’s mother, Erikka. His next adventure? Pre-school! But before that, he’ll be on Mile Three of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, sharing his positive energy with runners and walkers as they pass. Support Colt's team now!
Mile 3 is proudly sponsored by
Within three days, Kinley went from being a normal first grade student, to being diagnosed with leukemia, to starting a very aggressive chemotherapy plan at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She endured oral chemotherapy, as well as regular spinal tap chemotherapy. After several months, Kinley reached remission.
Once she was in remission, Kinley received a life-saving bone marrow transplant in 2012, which landed her in the intensive care unit (ICU) for almost three weeks. In the ICU, Kinley’s body was so weak that her organs began to shut down. Eventually, Kinley’s healing began and soon she was on her way to being a healthy kid again. Recovery from the incredibly traumatic past few years took Kinley almost ten weeks, but finally she was able to go home, where she belongs.
Kinley became a member of the family at Nationwide Children’s, where everyone from the cleaning staff to the cafeteria workers would ask her parents how she was feeling. Being on Mile Four of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon this year means hope to Kinley and her family. Support Kinley's team now!
Mile 4 is proudly sponsored by
After a healthy pregnancy, Nick’s mother, Missy, arrived at Riverside Methodist Hospital for a planned induction. Once she got into her room and the monitors were in place, doctors noticed that something was seriously wrong. She was immediately taken for an emergency c-section. Within five hours of Nick being born, the decision was made to move Nick to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Once there, Nick received life-saving surgery, as well as the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. This experience began what would be a lifelong relationship between the Drexel family and Nationwide Children’s.
Over the years, Nick has shown his true Champion spirit. He has had five major hospitalizations and seven surgeries. He visits the Cystic Fibrosis, Ear, Nose, and Throat, and Endocrinology clinics. And every single day, he endures two 30-minute vest treatments for his breathing, as well as 2 different atomized medications. He takes ten other medications – all totaling 24 doses a day.
Beyond this exhausting routine to keep Nick feeling healthy, he is an energetic second grader who loves to play soccer. Nick’s commitment to living a full and happy life has no limitations. Let his tenacity carry you across Mile Five. Support Nick's team now!
Mile 5 is proudly sponsored by
Jan McGarry was 25 weeks pregnant when she began to feel like something wasn’t right. She went to her local hospital in Athens for what she expected to be a trip to ease her mind, when in reality, her baby was in danger. Jan was transferred to Riverside Methodist Hospital immediately, where she remained for three long weeks. Her daughter Addie was delivered at only 28 weeks on December 28th, 2006. She weighed two pounds 10 ½ ounces and was 14 inches long.
Addie was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and spent the first 49 days of her life there. She endured a feeding tube, a c-pap to provide oxygen to her tiny lungs, and dozens of IV medications. Jan and her husband Pat were terrified – this was not part of their plan. But when the nurses at Nationwide Children’s told Jan that baby Addie had pulled off all of her monitors and was fighting the nurses in her isolette, Jan felt a glimmer of hope. She felt Addie’s fiery spirit, and knew they could get through this.
Today, Addie is six years old and is still a fighter. For the first year of her life she continued to visit Nationwide Children’s weekly. She had retinopathy of prematurity, an eye condition that can cause severe near-sightedness or even blindness. Very thankfully, this condition did not progress to the stage of needing laser therapy, but instead it healed itself. Addie is happy and healthy. She loves dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up. Support Addie's team now!
Mile 6 is proudly sponsored by
Doctors at Nationwide Children’s started caring for Adelyn before she even met them. The Langton family consulted with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital International Adoption Clinic while completing their adoption of Adelyn from China. When Adelyn made it to America, doctors at Nationwide Children’s were more than prepared to handle any medical conditions that she might suffer from – since the health of internationally adopted babies is often undocumented or not provided.
The Langton family fully trusted that their beautiful baby girl would receive the best care once she arrived at Nationwide Childrens, regardless of her conditions. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital International Adoption Clinic provides pre-adoptive services and helps to develop a care plan for the child once the adoption has been made.
Adelyn arrived to America with minor health complications – congenital hypothyroid and some developmental delays. The Langtons are thankful for the peace of mind that Nationwide Children’s was able to provide their family during their adoption. Look for Adelyn on Mile Seven! Support Adelyn's team now!
Mile 7 is proudly sponsored by
In March of 2011, Rudy Murray was in and out of the hospital in his hometown of Findlay, Ohio several times for fevers. Four emergency room trips in one month isn’t normal, and Rudy’s mom Addie knew it. She requested blood work. Doctors at Rudy’s hospital in Findlay pre-diagnosed him with leukemia, and within hours the Murray family was on their way to Nationwide Children’s. The family was immediately thrown into terrifying and unfamiliar territory – but they felt comfort at Nationwide Children’s. Rudy is now in the maintenance phase of his chemotherapy, which means he only visits the hospital once a month, but does oral chemo at home every night.
After countless visits to Columbus for Rudy’s treatment and with three other young children to care for, the Murray family decided to pack up and moved two hours south to central Ohio. Now they are closer to Nationwide Children’s and have easier access to the care that is saving Rudy’s life. This year he starts kindergarten and can’t wait to make friends, have homework, and just be a kid.
Rudy has good days and bad, but for the most part he’s a happy, funny six year old who never gives up. Rudy is going through more than any child should know. Let him be your inspiration on Mile 8. Support Rudy's team now!
Mile 8 is proudly sponsored by
Marie and Brian became worried when baby Justus had been unresponsive to attempts to move him in the womb. They arrived at Riverside Methodist Hospital, hoping to be reassured. Instead, they learned that baby Justus was under a great deal of distress. He was delivered one week early through an emergency c-section and was not breathing when he was delivered. Doctors discovered that Justus had been deprived of oxygen in the womb, which had already caused damage to his brain and was beginning to take a toll on his organs. He was stabilized and rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Nationwide Children’s. Justus was diagnosed with HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) and spent the next 72 hours undergoing a cooling and re-warming therapy in order to halt any further neurological damage.
Altogether, Justus spent 40 days in the NICU, during which time Justus’ parents mentally prepared themselves for the possibility of eventual difficulties with muscle control or a cerebral palsy diagnosis. During follow-up appointments, after his release, he proved to be thriving. One doctor called his recovery “remarkable.” Today, Justus is hitting all of his milestones, walking at 13 months, and is a happy, busy baby boy.
The Hairston’s felt as if the staff at Nationwide Children’s was an extension of their own family. Daily they were treated with care, compassion, and support. Justus and his family will be spreading their joy on Mile 9 of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon. This little guy is sure to inspire runners ato cross the finish line! Support Justus's team now!
Mile 9 is proudly sponsored by
It had always been Morgan Hood’s dream to run varsity cross country for her local high school in Abilene, Texas. And she made that dream a reality her freshman year, when her team won districts for the first time in nine years. A year later, Morgan was diagnosed with Shingles, followed by a severe case of Mono. While battling these illnesses, Morgan continued to thrive in school, even making early entry to the National Honor Society. Soon after, however, she took a turn for the worse. Severe stomach pain, nausea, and the inability to eat normal meals led her to a diagnosis of gastroparesis.
Morgan came to Nationwide Children’s for an attempt to correct her stomach problems without surgery, but ended up back in Columbus to have a Gastric Neurostimulator placed in her stomach – and it was a success. The Gastric Neurostimulator does what her stomach was unable to do on its own: empty Morgan’s stomach.
Through her illnesses, surgeries, and long trips from Texas to Ohio, Morgan remained in the top 15% of her graduating class. She is running again. Morgan has persevered through many struggles, and has no doubt that she will one day be able to run the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, not just cheer from the sidelines. When you run or walk through Mile 10, do it for Morgan! Meet Morgan Support Morgan's team now!
Mile 10 is proudly sponsored by
A trip to the emergency room should never be on the agenda for a child on Christmas night. But when Madeline fell ill, that’s where the Richardson family found themselves in December 2011. Her parents took her to the emergency room that night, and were sent home with the diagnosis of dehydration. But as time passed, more symptoms arose. Fever. Weight loss. Limping. Sunken eyes. Further testing and an ultrasound finally showed that at only six years old, Madeline had Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a soft tissue tumor. They came straight to Nationwide Children’s where Madeline was admitted and stayed for four weeks.
Throughout Madeline’s treatment, her family never left her side. That year they spent 200 days at Nationwide Children's Hospital . Chemo. Resection surgery. A bone marrow transplant. Radiation. And a painful six-month clinical trial. Madeline lost 25% of her body weight during treatment, as well as her hair. But in their words, they also gained something – “a new perspective on what’s really important.” Madeline’s smile and ability to appreciate every moment of her life helped the rest of her family see the light during the darkest times, when they were scared and unsure of what would happen next.
Today, Madeline is in remission. She has taken her experience and transformed it into helping others, delivering nearly 2000 books and DVDs to Nationwide Children’s. Not only is she a role model to her peers – she is an inspiration to all who cross her path.
Mile 11 is proudly sponsored by
One special mile on the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, Mile 12, is dedicated to the Angels who are no longer here with us. Families coming together to support one another, share memories, and celebrate the days they shared with their children will make this mile an experience that gives this marathon a new meaning.
On Marathon day, mile #12 – The Angel Mile – will be one to remember. White feather banners will line the streets and the Angel Mile families will be on hand to honor their children and cheer on the runners. Gospel choirs will lift their voices along this very special mile of the race route.
When you run through the Angel Mile, run for those kids who have passed, and be inspired to live every day to the fullest in honor of those who have already finished their race. Support the Angel Mile now!
Mile 12 is proudly sponsored by
When Molly was nine years old, she began to feel ill, experiencing symptoms similar to that of strep throat. After a visit to her pediatrician and a negative strep test, the Carriers were told that Molly had a virus. But her symptoms began to worsen. She lost 12 pounds in one month. Another trip to the doctor led them to the emergency department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where they discovered that Molly was experiencing ketoacidosis, which is a complication of diabetes. This is when the Carrier family first learned that Molly is type 1 diabetic. She spent four days at Nationwide Children’s, learning about her new diagnosis and how her life would be different moving forward. A few of Molly’s nurses are also type 1 diabetic, and shared their own personal stories with her to ease her mind and give the family confidence about their future.
The Carrier family is now five years out from Molly’s diagnosis. Since then, Molly has attended a special camp for kids with diabetes every summer, recommended to her by the Nationwide Children’s staff, where she gets to feel “normal” again. On Mile 12, Molly will be cheering on walkers and runners while representing all Nationwide Children’s patients with diabetes. Support Molly's team now!
Mile 13 is proudly sponsored by
The first and most obvious thing people might notice about Katelynn is that she is in a wheelchair. But soon, people learn that Katelynn is an active, social and happy seven year old girl. Katelynn was born at 25 weeks and weighed only one pound and seven ounces. Despite having multiple diagnoses, like chronic lung disease that requires constant ventilator support, weakened bones from osteoporosis, and kidneys that don’t function on their own, Katelynn has a happy life. She plays baseball, loves to shop, enjoys art projects, and even goes camping for one week every year.
Katelynn’s family is grateful that Nationwide Children’s doesn’t treat her like just another patient – and that while Katelynn might look sick, that doesn’t mean that she is. They are especially close to the team who provides Katelynn with kidney dialysis – they’ve become more like family than hospital staff. Katelynn pushes herself to the limit, and is proud to simply make it through. Katelynn’s nickname is “Bumble Bee” – “We put the Rumble in the BUMBLE and Always BEE Happy!” says Katelynn’s mom, Amber. Katelynn is proof that a positive attitude and a promise to never give up are key when reaching your dreams. So put some rumble in your bumble and buzz right through Katelynn’s Mile 14! Support Katelynn's team now!
This year, Kylie celebrates her tenth year of defying the odds. She was born two months early with a rare chromosome disorder, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, physical disabilities and cognitive delays. Kylie is the eldest of four Kandel kids, and she is the light of their lives. She has overcome so many barriers, from hospitalizations to feeding tubes. She’s learned to walk, talk, and build relationships with her peers.
The Kandel family aims to help others appreciate and celebrate their own differences. Through Kylie, they have learned determination, love, and passion. Along with Kylie’s therapy dog, Stryker, the family has been able to teach others about compassion and caring for those who are unique. Kylie has broken many barriers – let her strength push you through Mile 15. Support Kylie's team now!
Mile 15 is proudly sponsored by
Ashley was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma on October 26th, 2010, her 23rd birthday. And she was terrified. Synovial Sarcoma is a cancer that develops in the joints of the arm, neck, or in Ashley’s case, her leg. Ashley came to Nationwide Children’s because she had heard about the world class care and quality of care that Nationwide Children’s provides. The most important thing to Ashley, besides recovery, was to have a staff that was comforting, caring, reassuring, and able to answer her questions. And that’s what she got at Nationwide Children’s.
Ashley endured a total of 8 rounds of chemotherapy, 26 treatments of radiation, and surgery. She was also diagnosed with typhlitis during treatment, keeping her hospitalized for a month. The typhlitis alone could have taken her life, but the doctors at Nationwide Children’s never gave up on her. Ashley finished treatment on June 8th, 2011, and has been in remission ever since! Ashley will be celebrating her wellness on Mile 16 of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon.
Mile 16 is proudly sponsored by
Babies born with the illness that Connor was born with have a 10% chance to live. He came nine weeks early by emergency c-section, and suffered from hydrops fetalis, which caused his body to produce fluid around his lungs, abdomen, and under his skin. Doctors at Nationwide Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) drained the fluid, but his body replaced it as soon as it was drained. He was on a vent for the first three weeks of his life. The fluid led to many other issues, including pulmonary hypertension and critically low blood pressure. There were times when his family wasn’t sure if his tiny body could withstand the trauma he was experiencing. But Connor’s doctors never gave up, and neither did he. Finally the fluid resided, and Connor went home with his family.
To the Amabile family, Nationwide Children’s means a life for their son, who is now a healthy two-year-old boy. They will be on Mile 17 in honor of Connor, cheering runners and walkers with the same spirit that got them through the times when their future was unclear. Support Connor's team now!
Doctors were never optimistic about Owen Birk’s prognosis, and from the day he was born they warned his parents not to “chase rainbows looking for a cure.” But Owen’s parents, six years later, are still chasing rainbows. Owen has terminal mitochondrial disease, which means he suffers from a multitude of symptoms from seizures to respiratory failure. He sees more than 12 specialists at Nationwide Children’s. While he is unable to speak, Owen’s joy is contagious and his strength is unwavering.
Owen is currently enrolled in the palliative care program at Nationwide Children’s where he and his family learn to manage his daily medical needs at home – which greatly maximizes his quality of life. This fall Owen will begin kindergarten. Mile 18, Owen’s “Mighty Mitochondrial Mile,” will be dedicated to parents who hear from the beginning that they should give up the hope for their child. Owen’s family never gives up, and neither does he. Support Owen's team now!
Mile 18 is proudly sponsored by
This year, we start another tradition: the Encore Mile. The Encore Mile is for the 25 patients who represented Nationwide Children’s Hospital on each mile of the 2012 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. Because we're so inspired, motivated, and empowered by them, that we want them to come back for another round! And next year, the Encore Mile will be for the 24 patients who will line the streets this year.
Watch out for Mile 19 – it might be the rowdiest mile you cross. These Patient Champions are sure to pump you up for your last long stretch! Encore, please!
Mile 19 is proudly sponsored by
Last April, Dae’shaun Martin went from being a normal, athletic, healthy kid, to having seizures and being diagnosed with epilepsy. His originally prescribed medications, while helping his seizures, left him feeling angry, stuttering, and withdrawn from the life he was once so passionate about. Then Dae’shaun got referred to Nationwide Children’s, where he received a new diagnosis of progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME), a rare genetic syndrome that leads to neurological decline.
Over the past year, Dae’shaun has experienced many difficult changes, like trouble with memory, cognition, motor skills, and fatigue. “I look at him everyday and am so proud to be his mom, and to have a son that is so strong,” says Dae’shaun’s mother, Melissa. On days when Dae’shaun hits the basketball court, Melissa is especially happy – even though she knows he will be exhausted after, they thrive from the simple normalcy of shooting hoops.
Melissa says that besides offering world-class care to their family, Nationwide Children’s has also taught them to enjoy the little things and worry less about what may lie ahead of them. If you aren’t already inspired by Dae’shaun, you will be on Mile 20. Support Dae'shaun's team now!
Mile 20 is proudly sponsored by
With heavy hearts, we announce that Bryer Largent passed away on September 12, 2013, less than two months before his first birthday. From the very beginning, Bryer fought for his life. He finished his race in September, but his life will continue to be celebrated by all who knew him. Find the Largent family on Facebook to follow their journey here.
Bryer’s battle to survive began before he was born. Carey, his mother, was heavily monitored throughout her pregnancy because Bryer was what’s known as an Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) baby, which means he was very small while he was growing in Carey’s womb. Once he was born, Bryer was transferred to Nationwide Children’s when he was three days old. He was having gastrointestinal problems and came very close to surgery, but fortunately surgery wasn’t needed.
However, the problems just kept coming…kidneys, feeding, growing, elevated liver enzymes, respiratory issues, heart defect and glucose issues. Later, Bryer was diagnosed with hyperinsulinemia, a rare condition in which there are excess levels of insulin circulating in the blood than expected relative to the level of glucose. Bryer stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nationwide Children’s for two months, then was home for a brief time but went back for another four months. Since then he has been in and out of the hospital, but has finally been home for his longest stretch of 10 weeks.
Bryer underwent the highest level of genetic testing available, but a cohesive diagnosis was never confirmed. Doctors at Nationwide Children’s worked tirelessly to find out what the best method of treatment was for Bryer, as well as coaching his parents every step of the way. Bryer was a patient of the following areas: ear, nose & throat; pulmonary; cardiology; gastrointestinal; endocrinology; audiology; neurology; the eye clinic; physical therapy; occupational therapy; and the complex medical care team. Bryer was fed through a J-tube, which went directly into his intestines. Three times a day he was working on eating very small amounts of baby food. He also wore hearing aids for mild hearing loss.
Since Bryer would be celebrating his very special first birthday on marathon weekend, his mile theme is a big birthday party with thousands attending. Bryer’s family is also going the extra mile by sponsoring Mile 21. The Largent family will be cheering runners and walkers, as well as for their son, Bryer, who continued to show strength and inspire hope. Support Bryer's team now!
Mile 21 is proudly sponsored by
After a nearly perfect pregnancy, Camdon was born in March of 2012. A few hours after he was born, nurses noticed that Camdon was turning blue, and he was immediately sent to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Nationwide Children’s. There, doctors discovered a problem with Camdon’s heart called tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with pulmonary atresia. Within a week of receiving this news, Camdon was also diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome, also known as 22q Deletion Syndrome.
Camdon spent the first month of his life at Nationwide Children's before ever going home and has been readmitted several times since then. The hospital has truly become a home away from home for Camdon and his family. He survived a stroke at the very young age of 11 months old. Due to his tracheomalacia, he became trach and vent dependent shortly after his first birthday. Despite all of his hardships, Camdon continues to laugh and dance his way through life and is such an inspiration to all of those around him. Meet Camdon. Support Camdon's team now!
Mile 22 is proudly sponsored by
Gavin has autism. When he was only 19 months old, specialists told his parents to prepare for him to be in an infantile state for the rest of his life. When the Runkle family came to Nationwide Children’s, they were at the end of their rope. Through lots of hard work and the guidance of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Autism Clinic, Gavin continues to hit milestones and prove doctors wrong. Gavin continues to overcome insurmountable obstacles and is a brilliant, compassionate child.
Gavin is now eight years old, and functions as a typical eight year old. This fall, he will begin the 3rd grade. He loves to spend time with his family and play video games. Gavin is also an aspiring writer and illustrator! For a child who was never expected to function normally, Gavin continues to defy odds and prove that hard work and dedication can break any boundary. When you get to Mile 23 and you think you can’t go any further, remember Gavin, who knows that success is not measured by the end result, but by your will to push yourself. Support Gavin's team now!
Mile 23 is proudly sponsored by
When Heather, a track runner in the 7th grade, was at the heels of first place and tied for second in a 100-meter dash, something unexpected happened. Her knees gave out and she fell-hard. She dislocated her shoulder and tore the skin on her legs. Her condition worsened over the next several years, leading to a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a group of connective tissue disorders that cause, among other things, the joints to spontaneously dislocate.
Not one to ever give up, Heather continued to march in her school band, play in the show choir's jazz band, act in the school play her sophomore year, and sing for the school talent show. However, repeated injuries plagued her, and while she tried to train with the track team every year, she was never able to run track again. Heather even auditioned to dance for her schools show choir in a leg immobilizer at the end of her Sophomore year.
On the first day of school of her Junior year, Heather felt very ill, with headache, dizziness, and severe joint and back pain. Things worsened to the point where she was admitted to Nationwide Children's, where Dr. Spencer, head of the Rheumatology Clinic, diagnosed her with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. She spent the better part of her Junior year bedridden. Thanks to Dr. Spencer and the Nationwide team's, Heather was back on her feet for shortened school days and was able to march in a Memorial Day Parade in 2013. While her conditions have no cure, and she still suffers from the pain of dislocations and flare ups, she has been able to enjoy more of the life of a normal teenager. She is determined to have a normal Senior year, and never gives up. When you’re running or walking and feeling like you can’t go anymore, think of Heather’s will to keep trying, and she’ll push you through Mile 24! Support Heather's team now!
Kinzley’s parents had a gut feeling that something was very wrong with their daughter for many months leading up to her diagnosis. They had seen doctor after doctor and were getting no answers. Finally, they came to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and within that first appointment doctors knew Kinzley, just nine months old, had Hurler’s Syndrome.
The only cure for Hurler’s syndrome is a bone marrow transplant. Kinzley’s big sister was a match. So in July of 2012, Kinzley began a very aggressive treatment of chemotherapy to prepare her body for her transplant. Kinzley’s transplant took place on July 20th, 2012. And one year later – she is thriving.
On Mile 25, nearing the end of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, Kinzley will be celebrating her life, the gift from her brave sister, and every child who has been cared for by Nationwide Children’s. Support Kinzley's team now!
Madison Rose Reed was diagnosed with a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at only seven months old, when she wasn’t reaching typical milestones like rolling over or pushing herself up. She has SMA type 1 – the most severe. Doctors usually predict a child with SMA 1 to live only two years. But this year, Madison turned 16. Madison is a miracle.
Madison relies on a GJ feeding tube for nutrition and uses a wheelchair for transportation. She’s battled several bouts with respiratory illnesses, but her passion for life helped guide her back to health. While her muscles are affected by her illness, her brain is not. Her family and friends are very passionate about the research at Nationwide Children’s for gene therapy. For them, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon is a platform to spread awareness about SMA.
Madison is just like any other 16-year-old – she loves going to concerts and spending time with her friends. Her miraculous journey will carry you through Mile 26 and all the way to the last .2! Support Madison's team now!
Mile 26 is proudly sponsored by