Nationwide Childrens Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon Announce 2016 Patient Champions at RunFest

July 9, 2016

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon is pleased to announce its “Patient Champions” who will represent 24 of the 26 miles on this year’s course. The other two miles along the Marathon route will be deemed the “Encore Mile” and “Angel Mile,” and many miles will be sponsored by a corporate or community organization.
After reviewing dozens of submissions of personal stories submitted through social networking sites and the hospital’s website, Patient Champions, who are current or former patients of Nationwide Children’s, were selected by a committee of hospital staff based on various criteria, including diversity of diagnosis, age and enthusiasm to cheer on race participants at their mile. A full list of Patient Champions can be found below.
The Encore Mile will feature Patient Champions who were honored along the race route the previous four years. The Angel Mile is dedicated to the angels of Nationwide Children’s who have already run their race. The Angel Mile will be lined with banners and represented by families celebrating the lives of their children while cheering on participants.
Marathon and ½ Marathon participants are encouraged to serve as “Children’s Champions” and raise donations on behalf of Nationwide Children’s. In the past four years, between participants’ fundraising efforts, corporate and community sponsorships and matches by the Marathon board, more than $4.5 million have been raised for Nationwide Children’s. To register to become a Children’s Champion, please click here.
Partners that have committed to sponsoring a Miracle Mile along the 2016 Marathon route include: Platinum Sponsors L Brands, Nationwide and The Columbus Dispatch; Gold Sponsor Cardinal Health; and Silver Sponsors Alliance Data, Big Lots, CampusParc, Clif Bar, EAS Sports Nutrition, Fifth Third Bank, Germain Automotive Partnership, Kohl’s Department Stores, Kroger,, Organic Valley, Panera, PNC, Subway, The Superior Group and Vaughn Industries.
Corporate or community organizations interested in becoming a partner in this year’s event may contact Matt Piede with Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation at (614) 355-5429. To read more about the Patient Champions’ stories and to support Nationwide Children’s, visit
The 37th Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon will be held on Sunday, October 16, 2016 and will have a capacity of 6,000 full marathoners and 12,000 participants in the ½ Marathon. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon is the 17th largest marathon in the United States and one of the top marathons to qualify runners for the Boston Marathon. For more information, visit
The 2016 Patient Champions: 
Jessica Acton, 15, Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, Dola, OH 45835
Laila Albanese, 4, Astrocytoma of Spinal Cord, Chillicothe, OH 45601
Joel Buyer, 8, Cerebral Palsy, Washington Court House, OH 43160
Jacob Carlino, 18, Ewing’s Sarcoma, Powell, OH 43065
Tristen Cooper, 9, Multiple Diagnoses, Marietta, OH 45750 
Mason Dum, 15, Type 1 Diabetes, Stoutsville, OH 43154
Evan Durant, 6, Double Outlet Right Ventricle with Transposition of the Great Arteries, Zanesville, OH 43701
Gracelynn Dutton, 3, Spina Bifida, Delaware, OH 43015
Layla Graham, 6, Batten’s Disease, Columbus, OH 43212
Benjamin Harberts, 4, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pataskala, OH 43062
Lyla Horsley, 9, Asthma, Portsmouth, OH 45662
Jude Hummer, 10, Addison’s Disease, ALD, Columbus, OH 43214
Millie Johnson, 5, Arthrogryposis, Distal Type I, Upper Arlington, OH 43220
Grant Loechler, 4, 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, Columbus, OH 43221
Killian Madrid, 6, Severe Prematurity, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Breanna McGrady, 14, Crohns induced Pseudotumor Myositis, Clyde, OH 43410
Riley Muller, 11, Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II (MPS II), Marysville, OH 43040
Arjun Satyapriya, 5, Progressive Sensorineuronal Hearing Loss, Powell, OH 43065
Alex Steckman, 21, Aortic Stenosis, and Coarctation of the Aorta, Westerville, OH 43081
Alyssa Turner, 19, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Westerville, OH 43801
Aaron Welch, 9, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy, Chillicothe, OH 45601
Melanie Wheeler, 13, Myxopapillary Ependymoma, Galion, OH 44833
Ella Wintringer, 8, Colonic Neuropathy, Orchard Park, N.Y. 14127
Louis Wood, Traumatic Brain Injury, 16 Granville, OH 43023 

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at