Hearing the news in April that her daughter, Annie, no longer had neuroblastoma after receiving chemotherapy treatments for over a year has not stopped Kim Merrick, or her family, from wanting to help end childhood cancer.
On Saturday at Rose Rudman Trail, she estimated that around 175 of her family and friends showed up to the second annual Tyler Gold Run 5K, a race presented by the Gold Network of East Texas that raised awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.
Merrick participated and said the support she and other families, who have experienced childhood cancer, felt at the event was amazing.
“To see all these people come out and support our families and our kids is overwhelming,” she said. “It was awesome just to walk with our family and friends and raise awareness to this horrible disease.”
The Tyler Gold Run 5K, which featured a blood drive, activities for children and various prizes, benefited Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and will help the organization fund childhood cancer research. In total, more than 450 people registered for the 5K, which had raised more than $30,000 at the start of the event.
Heather Rucker organized and started the Tyler Gold Run and the event is very personal for her. Her 2-year-old son, Sawyer, was diagnosed with leukemia at 7-months-old and is still fighting the disease.
Rucker said it was great to see people from all walks of life and even from different parts of the county come and participate.
She added she hoped the event helped inform more people about childhood cancer and the importance of funding research that can lead to its end.
“The world knows that the world turns pink in October for breast cancer,” she said. “We want the world to turn gold for September because our kids are more precious than gold.”