Run to fight cancer: child survivors given "cancer fighting" cap - New York News

Run to fight cancer: child survivors given "cancer fighting" capes

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Valley residents laced up their running shoes with gold shoelaces and donned special superhero capes, all part of a run to raise money to fight children's cancer.

There were 5K and 10K races and a special quarter-mile cancer survivor's walk.

8 year-old Grace Kostyk has been fighting cancer for two and a half years. "I had leukemia cancer that was in my blood and I had to go for a lot of treatments," said Grace Kostyk.

The diagnosis threw Grace's family for a loop.

"It's no, not my kid. Then all of a sudden you're in the hospital being told your child has cancer. It's just tough but the family and the community always come around," said Grace's mom, Sue Kostyk.

On Saturday the community rallied again, over 3,000 people ran in the run to fight cancer hosted by Grand Canyon University.

This is the fifth race for "Team Olivia". Olivia was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 3 years-old.

"She's been about a year off of chemo which is great," said Olivia's mom, Gretchen Baumgardner.

Since 2011 the race has raised $200,000 with the money going to research and helping local families fight the disease.

"It stays here in Arizona for both Phoenix Children's Hospital and the Children's Cancer Network, helping families every day with financial issues and education needs," said Patti Luttrell with Children's Cancer Network.

Kayla Lempinen who is waiting her last treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma went with the hopes of inspiring children and she found her own inspiration at the run. "It's just beautiful seeing their happy faces and they're so strong," she said.

Gold is the color of childhood cancer, runners were given gold shoelaces and survivors wore gold cancer-fighting superhero capes.

Grace is in remission and is two weeks away from the end of her treatments. "You go in to Phoenix Children's hospital and all the kids are so brave and smiling, Grace has never lost her smile at all," said Sue Kostyk.

Even though the race is over you can still donate to fight childhood cancer. You can text the word "FIGHTCANER" to 41444 or donate at www.runtofightcancer.com

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