Jack’s Angels Foundation’s 2nd Annual running event “Run the Rocks!” is approaching quickly with race-day April 30, 2017, attracting a variety of runners and childhood cancer advocates in support of children with DIPG in an adventurous trail race at Vasquez Rocks County Park in Agua Dulce.
Jack’s Angels was inspired by the brief but beloved life of James-William “Jack” Demeter (8/30/08-7/30/12), an Agua Dulce resident, suffering the same fate as every other child afflicted with DIPG: certain death, with a median survival time of nine months post diagnosis with treatment. The founder, Jack’s mom Janet, began strongly advocating for children with brain cancer in 2014, realizing that the lack of awareness for the urgent need for research for the deadly disease was a significant barrier to saving these children. She began running to raise awareness and to promote a National Day for DIPG, and greater awareness for the general state of neglect of pediatric cancer research.
“Every childhood cancer is marginalized as rare; brain tumors are the leading cause of death in children with cancer yet remains one of the least-funded areas of research. DIPG makes a very strong case for the need for greater research funding for pediatric cancer,” says Demeter when asked about H.Res.69, the National DIPG Awareness Resolution, authored by Congressman Steve Knight of California’s 25th District.
“It’s the only bill that asks that pediatric and high – risk cancers get more consideration for research funding from our government and private sector alike,” she continues.
H.Res.69 designates May 17 as National DIPG Awareness Day to match a country-wide movement initiated by the Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG foundation in Bethesda, MD for a Proclamation in every state with the date of May 17. California was the first State to have a DIPG awareness Week, actually, in 2014, initiated by Assemblyman Scott Wilk on behalf of Jack’s Angels Foundation. This gesture helped encourage and inspire Demeter to move forward with the hope of getting a National Day for DIPG.
At “Run the Rocks”, each trophy is named for a local Southern California child who passed away to DIPG: Parker Landis of Fallbrook, Leah Moreno of Mission Hills, Ethan Tacheny of Burbank, Katherine King of Placentia, Nathan Street of Bakersfield, Angel Jimenez Nieto of Oxnard, and Jack Demeter of Agua Dulce are some of the children who are so named. The event opens at 8am, and races begin at 9am; the 5k and 10k races are part of Trail Runner Magazine’s Trophy Series and have $100 prizes for winners. The kids 1k, family walk, and 20k Relay for Jack complete the list of races. Skycrest Graphics, Santa Clarita Magazine, KHTS Radio, Burbank Foley Stage as well as Frontier Toyota of Valencia, Canyon Dental of Valencia, Sweet and Sour Bliss of Acton, City of Hope of Lancaster, and Childhood Cancer Talk Radio are supporting the event, as well as the beloved home-town park of Agua Dulce, the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area.
The impressive list of attending childhood cancer advocate runners includes Becky Moss Mudd of Laguna Hills CA who ran across the State of California in 2015 and across Utah in 2016, Roy Wiegand of Burbank CA–ultra-distance runner for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, and Paul Miller of Littleton CO, childhood cancer advocate and regular volunteer for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Everett Smith of Redlands CA, ultra-distance runner with a trans-continental run under his belt, and BethAnn Telford of Fairfax VA who completed the 2017 World Marathon Challenge—with brain cancer—are participating in the virtual companion run supporting DIPG Awareness and Research, Virtual Relay for Jack, in which anyone, anywhere in the world may participate. Event proceeds benefit a special research project for DIPG at Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute in Beaverton, OR.
Heralded by “Run the Rocks!” on April 30th, May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Rumor has it that not only is there a CA State Resolution in the works, but a Santa Clarita Proclamation for DIPG Awareness Day May 17 as well in support of this movement initiated by Jack’s Angels Foundation, and the National Resolution H.Res.69.
For more information about it, visit www.hres69.org.
All “Run the Rocks” and companion event information may be accessed at www.runtherocks.info, or call 661-977-3125 for group discounts on event participation.