On Oct. 6, the track at the University of Chicago's Hyde Park will be full of runners and walkers racing toward the finish lines in the hopes of saving children's lives.
Founded by Jean and Daniel Mohan, the RBC Race for the Kids has been raising money to support research conducted at Comer Children’s Hospital since 2013. It is the largest community fundraiser for the hospital, having raised more than $2.67 million so far and attracting more than 16,000 participants.
Lexi Fiedler, associate director of Individual Giving & Pediatrics at the university’s Medicine and Biological Sciences Development Office, explained how the annual race supports the development of new health research projects for illnesses that affect children.
"Contributions from the RBC Race for the Kids at Comer Children’s help UChicago Medicine physicians and scientists conduct research into childhood illnesses and disease to advance care for young patients," Fiedler told South Cook News. "Specifically, the funds are used to jumpstart new, innovative research projects in topics ranging from asthma to food allergies to neuroblastoma, the most common cancer in infants."
Some of the research projects funded from last year's race include: investigating the effects of environmental exposures among children with asthma on Chicago’s South Side; developing effective tools for diagnosing and predicting Clostridium difficile, a life-threatening infection; and determining the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for children with depression and anxiety resulting from a rare condition known as median arcuate ligament syndrome.
Fiedler looks forward to seeing volunteers, families and even the hospital's medical staff unite each year for the race.
“How can you not be excited for an event that supports kids and families,” Fiedler said. “For me, I love seeing the community come out to support kids… . Every year, you hear the empowering stories from Comer Children’s families and it makes you feel how you are directly making a difference in kids’ lives.”
Registration is still open for the 5k Run, 5k Walk, Kids’ Mile, and the Kids’ Dash. Interested participants can register online until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2. Race-day registration will be available at the park.
The first race starts at 7:30 a.m., with family activities such as face and pumpkin painting throughout the morning.