Torch Run raises $350K for young cancer patients


More than 250 children with cancer, sickle cell disease and other serious blood disorders participated in last Saturday’s relay while passing an Olympic-style torch.

The Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center (JJCCC) has announced that it raised nearly $350,000 during its annual Torch Run last Saturday, where more than 250 children with cancer, sickle cell disease and other serious blood disorders ran, walked, wheeled and were carried in a relay while passing an Olympic-style torch.
With a crowd of more than 2,500 cheering them on, the children ran alongside family members, sponsors, and more than 50 celebrities from television shows and movies, including Angus T. Jones from the television show Two and a Half Men, Debra Skelton from MAD TV, Julia Ling from NBC’s Chuck, and Keegan Holst from HBO’s Big Love. Friends, families and sponsors waved handmade banners and posters with words of encouragement, and sported custom T-shirts with pictures of their pediatric heroes.
The event, which took place at the Long Beach Rainbow Harbor Esplanade, is a way for patients to celebrate another year won in the fight against cancer and serious blood disorders, and for families to remember loved ones lost.
That evening, hospital supporters, community members and families of current and former patients gathered at the annual JJCCC Profiles of Courage gala to raise funds for JJCCC and celebrate 26 years of caring for children with cancer and serious blood disorders. Three pediatric patients were honored at the gala for showing great strength in the face of adversity, including: 15-year-old brain-tumor patient Derek Tao, who completed his 14th Torch Run on Saturday; 11-year-old Jaide Lumati, who was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at birth and receives blood transfusions every three to four weeks; and five-year-old Alyssa Howes, who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoplastic leukemia that caused permanent blindness.
All funds raised, both at the Torch Run and during the gala, will go to JJCCC and be used to provide individualized clinical and psychosocial care for their young patients and their families.

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