PHILADELPHIA, PA – Sept. 29, 2019 – Lace up your sneakers and join Team Mia at the 2019 Parkway Run & Walk. Team Mia Foundation is a local nonprofit organization based out of New Egypt. All money raised through the event will go to the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania to fund breakthrough pediatric cancer research and care. Team Mia’s goal is to raise $5,000 with help from team members and donors.
Mia Castellan, for whom the foundation is named, was a little over 1-year-old when she was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In the years that followed, the little girl underwent chemotherapy, radiation and, finally, a life-saving stem-cell transplant at CHOP. Now 6-years-old and nearly three years cancer-free, she is an ambassador for the 2019 Parkway Run & Walk.
“Initially Mia endured about 10 months of intense chemotherapy along with several life threatening infections,” Teresa Castellan, Mia’s mother and Team Mia founder, said. “There were countless ER visits, biopsies, spinal taps, blood transfusions and hospital stays that would range from days to even months.”
The Cancer Center at CHOP offers advanced, specialized cancer treatment with world-renowned clinicians and technology. The Cancer Center is a Children’s Oncology Group Phase I and Phase II which allows them to partake in research and clinical trials for new treatments for childhood cancers.
The Parkway Run & Walk brings out thousands of people who gather on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to show their support for families affected by childhood cancer. Last year’s Parkway Run & Walk raised more than $1.3 million, thanks to 9,000 runners, walkers, sponsors and donors who participated.
Team Mia calls on participants of all ages and abilities to register to walk/run Saturday, Sept. 28. Team registration begins at 7 a.m. followed by the 8:30 a.m. 5K Fun Run and the 2K Family Fun Walk. Runners and walkers start at the peak of Eakins Oval and travel down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. All participants finish in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Those who cannot physically attend the event also have the option to participate virtually. Virtual participants have the unique opportunity to join a team and fundraise online with no registration fee. Visit https://chop.donordrive.com/team/9003 to join Team Mia or donate.
“Many children who survive childhood cancer face an additional battle against lifelong damage from surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy” Castellan said. “Our mission is to help other families and support groundbreaking research in hopes that one day children will not have to endure such harsh side effects from the same treatment Mia went through.”
CHOP is especially involved in research and development of new ways to treat children with cancer more safely, effectively and with fewer side effects. These breakthroughs can only continue to take place with the support of community members and donors who are dedicated to funding the fight against pediatric cancer.