On Saturday, over 700 people participated in St. Jude’s Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer where they raised over $70,000 for cancer treatment and research.
Hundreds were up bright and early at Flagler Shore to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Some walked alone while others formed teams. One of the top 5 fundraising teams was Hispanics for St. Jude, started by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Venezuelan team member Elena Contreras serves on the board of directors and sees this as a way to help her community as well.
“I see St. Jude help the Hispanic community and children,” she said. “Plus, their public research helps over 70 countries treat children, many in South America.”
The team has raised over $2,000 and is hoping to raise more by the end of the month.
“Kids are angels,” Contreras said. “When I see the St. Jude commercials you see the kids struggle.”
One of those children was Brian Quinlan.
At the age of four, Quinlan was diagnosed with pediatric leukemia. For the next three years of his childhood, he would undergo intense chemotherapy and spend about half that time living in a hospital. He’s now 17, healthy and leading a normal teenager’s life. He loves to spend time outdoors, especially in the ocean, and is left with little memory of his experience, except for a scar left behind by the catheter once implanted in his chest.
“I wanted him to be the least traumatized possible while receiving the best care in the world,” his mother Nancy said.
The Quinlan family received help from St. Jude’s hospital in Memphis where they didn’t have to pay for travel, stay or their son’s treatment.
Quinlan’s high school friends at Cardinal Newman showed their support by bringing in the school band and cheerleaders, who performed before the walk started.
The Quinlans attend the walk/run every year as a family and continue to raise money. This year, they raised $2,560.
“It was an emotional and physical rollercoaster, but it took a huge worry off our shoulders,” she said.
Carla Trivino is a Mundo Hispánico reporter working out of The Palm Beach Post. For the latest news from Mundo Hispánico click here and to see what’s going on in the county follow me on Twitter and Instagram.