By Katie Vorderstrasse & Jonathan Woon
Staff reporters

Race for the Kids, a charity run organized by Discipleship, saw 41 participants and 20 volunteers gather at Island Park April 1 to raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis and spina bifida. $640 was successfully raised through sponsorship when participants signed up for the run.

It all started when little Allison Godfrey, 9, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a condition never heard before by her cousin, Christy Rude, early childhood education senior. Since then, Rude has set her heart on helping improve the quality of lives of those with cystic fibrosis through awareness and fund raising.

Due to the unpopularity of the condition, Rude has decided to organize Race for the Kids, a charity run open to all members of the community, with intentions to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis and spina bifida.  “I chose cystic fibrosis because it is something that is very close to my heart and I didn’t know what it was before my cousin got it,” said Rude. Rude also noted that other conditions such as cancer and malaria are already main stream and that there is a lesser need to raise awareness for such conditions. “There are things that are more hidden that a lot of people don’t know about.”

Last year, “Race for the kids” managed to raise $700. Even though there is a slight decrease in raised funds, Rude stresses that the main objective of the run is not only to raise funds. “It was about raising money to help kids and also about raising awareness within the community and on campus,” said Rude. This, according to Rude, was a major success compared to last year. “This year we did a good job in raising awareness.”

The funds raised during the event will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Spina Bifida Association respectively. According to Rude, all participants are given the opportunity to decide where their donations will be channeled to. “When the participants register, they can decide where the money goes to, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or the Spina Bifida Association,” said Rude.

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). Spina Bifida on the other hand is a common permanently disabling birth defect that occurs as a result of the spine of a baby failing to close during the first month of pregnancy.

For participating parents James and Sarah Lorsan, this was a great opportunity to educate their kids on cystic fibrosis and spina bifida. James said, “I’m definitely learning a little bit more about it.” The Lorsans participated in the 5k rum with both of their kids, Haven and Chance Lorsan. Through this event, Haven and Chance are educated about cystic fibrosis and spina bifida at a young age.

For Sarah, she is positive that such an event should be carried out each year to raise awareness. “We’ll definitely come back again. We managed to get church members and family members to sponsor us run and hopefully next year they will participate as well,” said Sarah.

This accomplishes Rude’s future expectation as a senior. Rude said, “I hope that it will be carried on next year.” Rude is graduating this spring and hopes that someone else would step-up to continue the process of raising awareness.

Jonathan Woon is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at jonathan.woon@sckans.edu