The Santa Colorita 5k Fun-Run on February 25, 2017 at Castaic Lake Recreation Center in Castaic, CA, produced by the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce includes for the third time the “Skip for Jack!” event for young children. A tribute to the long-silent experience that thousands of families have endured, the DIPG diagnosis and journey, “Skip for Jack!” seeks to give young children a way to support and celebrate their peers who are currently fighting DIPG or who have perished to the disease.
The Santa Colorita run benefits, in part, the Santa Clarita Wish Foundation (supporting Hart District high schools) and Jack’s Angels Foundation, a support and advocacy organization dedicated to raising awareness to DIPG and the urgent need for solutions for its victims. Located in Agua Dulce, CA, Jack’s Angels was inspired by the life of little Jack Demeter, Founder Janet Demeter’s son who met an untimely death due to DIPG, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, at the age of 3 years and 11 months.
“The Skip event celebrates Jack’s desire to skip; I can’t help smiling thinking that it makes him happy to see all the kids skipping,” says Demeter about the inspiration for the event. At the time of disease progression many children have difficulty with movement or suffer paralysis until respiration is affected and death ensues. “The event celebrates a triumph of our local community; because of the strong attention shown by our Congressman Steve Knight to the needs and demands of constituents, he has drafted and reintroduced the National DIPG Awareness Resolution, H.Res.69. It designates May 17 as National DIPG Awareness Day, and asks that children and high mortality rate cancers be given greater consideration with research funding from the Federal Government.”
Start time for the run begins at 8am, for which there are two waves, and the Skip begins at 9:30 in the children’s area. Mad Dog Party, the Los Angeles Princess Company and others will be there to create fun-filled moments for the kids. Natalie Avila (4), currently battling DIPG, will be there with her family. Unfortunately, Katherine King (7) who was present at last year’s event passed away, among several other Southern California DIPG victims. Both warriors and angels will be celebrated at this event.
For more information about the Santa Colorita 5k Fun-Run and Skip for Jack, visit www.santacolorita.com, or call the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce at 661-702-6977.