Upstate News

May 30, 2006
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

10th edition of Paige’s Butterfly run steps off June 2 with more than 800 participants

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Over the past ten years, University Hospital’s Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders has received more than $280,000 from Paige’s Butterfly Run. The annual Baldwinsville foot race remains one of the most successful fundraisers for pediatric cancer services in the area.

“It’s extremely successful and extremely well run,” said Toni Gary, director of the Children’s Miracle Network, the organization that supports this event. “Chris Arnold and his wife, Ellen Yeomans, are very committed to the fight against children’s cancer and to supporting families who are coping with child going through the rigors of cancer.”

Paige’s Butterfly Run steps off this year-its 10th anniversary year-on June 2 at Palmer Elementary School, located on Hicks Road in Baldwinsville. The 5K race begins at 9 a.m., and the 3K fun run/walk begins at 10 a.m. More than 800 people are expected to participate this year.

Paige Yeomans Arnold was diagnosed with leukemia as she was nearing the end of her first grade year at Palmer Elementary. During the next year she completed second grade while being treated at the Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at University Hospital. By that time the disease had progressed, requiring a bone marrow transplant. Paige underwent the procedure at Boston Children’s Hospital in the summer of 1994, but died from resulting complications.

In April 1997, teachers at Palmer Elementary approached Paige’s parents about holding an event in Paige’s memory. Any money raised would go to charity. Named after Paige and the butterflies she so loved, the 5K event was organized and quickly attracted some 250 participants.

Funds raised from Paige’s Butterfly Run have helped provide assistance for families who need to be out of work or away from home to be near their child during this difficult time. “This can be such a stressful time for families that whatever we can do to lessen the anxiety level and create some semblance of calm, we’ll do it,” said Gary.

Money raised from the run also helps fund research into pediatric cancers. University Hospital has a significant research focus on pediatric cancer. “This is where we will win the fight against pediatric cancer,” Gary said. “Supporting these initiatives is a way to provide hope that fewer children will be diagnosed with cancer in the future.”

In addition to supporting the Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders, Paige’s Butterfly Run also benefits scholarships for children from the Baldwinsville School District.

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