ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018, OVER 150 ATHLETES WILL TAKE ON THE ANYTIME FITNESS 24 IN 24.
WILL YOU SUPPORT THEM?
The Anytime Fitness 24 in 24 features 150 challengers each attempting to run one mile every hour for 24 consecutive hours. Each brave athlete is taking on the challenge for an even braver child from A Special Wish Cleveland. Donate to one of the teams and help make a dream come true for a child battling a life-threatening illness.
Please consider supporting one of our courageous participants as they take on the challenge for ten amazing local children: Carter, Dairian, Grace, Jake, Josie, Luke, Malia, Montanna, Paige, and Vivian. Here are their stories:
Presented by Greater Strides
Team Carter: Oliver Curwen, Caroline Drotar, Rachel Epps, Dave Horvat, Michele Johnson, Cheryl Manfroni, Bryan Nelson, Monica Nelson, Amy Norman, Dawn Ostrowski, Brenda Scinto, Missy Stamford, Tim Starling, David Sullivan, Jennifer Sullivan, and Lorelei Sullivan
Our Little Superhero Carter was born on April 13, 2010. He was a beautiful, blue eyed boy with a touch of red in his hair and a little bit of grump on his face. He was a chubby little man and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect little human.
When Carter was just three days old, his team at the hospital noticed something a little odd with his coloring. After additional testing, they found his oxygen levels to be in the 70’s which explained his dusky coloring. We were told they would need to stabilize him and transfer him to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital… something was wrong with his heart. There, Carter would receive his first echocardiogram. The results told us that Carter had Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries, Pulmonary Atresia and Dextrocardia, a rare and severe form of Congenital Heart Disease. We next learned that he would have to undergo life-saving surgery at just ten days old.
Carter has since undergone two open-heart surgeries, two heart catherizations and a countless number of appointments often accompanied by an echocardiogram, labs and other tests.
Today, Carter is 8 years old and about to graduate the second grade. He can usually be found with a smile on his face and mud on his tires He has an abundance of energy and an unexplainable ability to keep going and going. He has a great love for the outdoors where he enjoys camping, racing his RC car, tubing off the back of the boat, swimming, driving his Dad’s tractor, riding his bike and getting SUPER dirty. Carter also loves playing baseball, building Legos and asking a TON of questions.
Carter has experienced so much in his 8 years of life and still remains the most determined person we have ever known. He truly is an amazing little boy!
Presented by Johnnycake Financial, Lee and Julia Quignano
Team Dairian: Chris Anderson, Brad Allen, Mary Beth Bray, Noelle Frantz, Sean Kelly, Jenn Kish, Katie Manilla, Brittany Marvin, Karrie Menke, Alicia Merrill, Jacob Reynolds, Debbie Schwartz, Charlene Sintic, Jake Sintic, Julie Sutton, and Bettie Schmikla
Dairian had his first open heart and pacemaker placement when he was 3 months old. He had his second open heart surgery when he was 3 years old during this surgery he had a stroke and lost function of his left side and had to learn how to walk again. He had his 3rd open heart surgery when his was 5.
Dairian has transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary stenosis, complete heart block with a pacmaker. He also has ADHD and asthma.
Dairian has had such a blast being a part of A Special Wish. He has enjoyed many VIP Sparkles of Joy. His favorites include: checking out the showroom VIP style at the exotic car dealership Marshall Goldman, being the Grand Marshall of the IX Center auto show and meeting with his favorite superhero, Spiderman.
Presented by Clean Eatz Mentor
Team Grace: Andrew Arnold, Meighan Binnig, Allison Cassetta, Ericka Colon, Anna Dey, Julie Dey, Michael Dey, Allan Kowalczyk, Fran Horvat, Kelsey Hruska, Daniel Leovic, Sarah Sertich, Jason Thomas, Marie Umholtz, Tony Weis, and Christopher Whitaker
Grace was born prematurely at 33wks on 10/24/2016, weighing 4.12 pounds. Her and her mother survived an Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE), immediately after she was born.
AFE is 2.5 in every 100,000 births or 1 in 40,000 deliveries in North America Mortality rates of infants still in the womb during an AFE are as high as 65%. So right from the start Grace, our amazing little fighter had already beat the odds. she was diagnosed at birth with Downs Syndrome, (TMD) Transient myeloproliferative disorder (a form of Leukemia), Grace received her first round of chemo at only 2 days old and a little over 4 pounds. (She fit in her Daddy's hand) The Leukemia went away and we where told there was a 20-30% chance of it coming back when she got older. Grace spent her first 2 months of life in the NICU where she had her first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She was discharged Dec. 27th, 2016.
We got to bring her home for a few months and she got sick and needed to be hospitalized again for a few months from Feb-April 2017. By August of 2017 she started to show signs of being sick and through tests the doctors discovered that Grace had full blown Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), we were utterly heartbroken and devastated to learn that the cancer came back so quickly, which is very uncommon. It was also discovered that the Cancer was also found in her spinal fluid, this made her case that much more complex, since there hasn't been a case like hers in over 2 decades, let alone in a baby! Grace not only endured chemotherapy, she endured countless spinal tap injecting chemo into her spinal fluid. Grace was hospitalized for 8 months Aug-Mar, till her cancer went into remission and she was cleared to go home.
She took on each day with a smile like a true warrior and caught through with the support of family and friends and tons of prayers. On March 21th, 2018 Grace was released from the hospital and has since spent her days catching up on PT, OT, and speech therapy, countless doctors appointments, but more importantly she is home enjoying life and she is flourishing!! That's our Amazing Grace Rosian
Presented By The Max Screenprinting
Team Jake: John Bradford, Diane Briskey, Mark Coulter, Veronica Croucher, Lynda Evans, Becky Fenske, Erin Fox, Mickey Gruscinski, Jeff Mazie, Keith Nagy, Maureen Pengov, Courtney Sheehy, Jenna Geibel, Angela Tirabassi, Michael Young, and Kayla Zarbock
On December 22, 2014 Jacob Michael was born a happy and healthy little boy. At age 18months I saw a glare to his right eye. I also could see a brown spot in the middle of his pupil at a certain light. We pushed to have him seen and on June 27th, our baby boy was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eye. Jacobs tumor was so big that it completely detached his retina (which was the brown spot I saw in his pupil). The best course of treatment was enucleation of the right eye (removal). On July 1, 2016 Jacob underwent the surgery to remove his right eye. After countless tests, IVs, lab draws, MRIs and eye exams under anesthesia, our little boy was finally cancer free. Because the tumor was fully encased within the eye and did not involve the optic nerve, he did not need any chemotherapy treatment.
As of today, 2yrs later, our little 3yr old is a happy, thriving toddler with quite a personality. He LOVES any kind of cars, trucks, trains, planes and anything that goes fast! He is definitely our warrior and we are so thankful for ASW and all the runners and donors for their amazing contribution!!
Presented by Andrew Bearden, PNC Investments
Team Josie: Amy Alan, Lynn Beardon, Heather Bennington, Hali Butler, Bob Hoover, Linda Elek, Courtney Ellis, Neil Haffey, Emily Horn, Ryan Kelly, Kristal Cowle,Christopher Kerr, Paula Krakowski, Jen Morel, Ethan Pomplas, and Carmen Vitolo
Josie is an energetic 6 year old girl bravely living with pilocytic astrocytoma, a spinal cord and brain tumor. Josie has had many surgeries as a result of her diagnosis and she became paralyzed as a toddler when the tumor caused a spinal cord injury in her mid back. Last summer, Josie had another surgery as the tumor grew again and she had to relearn many skills like sitting up after the surgery. She works incredibly hard each week in therapies and always figures out ways to do things despite her disability. Josie is waiting to begin chemotherapy as the next step in treatment.
Josie loves dancing, playing dress up and creating art projects. She enjoys playing outside with her siblings and is part of Challenger baseball in the summer. Josie loves to accessorize her outfits with big bows or her tiara.
Josie wants to become a princess or a ballerina when she grows up. She has the most positive attitude and teaches us to make the most of each day. Thank you A Special Wish for allowing Josie to make memories and be a little girl in the midst of all her medical challenges.
Presented by Pulp of Willoughby
Team Luke: Jill Baus, Patti Drotar, Kristina Simer, Janelle Finnie, Von Hollingsworth, Kirk Jacobson, Annette Kelly, Julianne Knezovich, Stacy Luoma, Ashley Mobley, Trevor Ostrowski, Frank Ruolo, Jill Sankal, Meg Schmid, Tiffany Secre, and Julie Sheehy
Our Luke was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma on March 22, 2016 (a month shy of his 5th birthday). We entered the hospital with leg pain and left with a cancer treatment plan. On January 6, 2018 we drove away from Rainbow Babies and Children's hospital after almost two years of treatment. Last week, we received the call that there was a new spot on his spine, the fight isn't over....
It's difficult to put into words how this experience has changed our family and perception of life. The hardest part is not having that "normal" part of life that we used to have. However, Luke teaches us to live in the moment and appreciate the little things. It's hard not to live in fear of the unknown but living in fear will do our family no good. The love and support we have encountered during this journey is indescribable; from strangers, to family, to people who are there for us…etc. We know we aren't alone!
Presented by Furniture Warehouse Ohio
Team Malia: Jillian Beahon, Jennifer Earl, Hannah Hedrick, Rosa Hernandez, Jennifer Baroni, Amy Markijohn, Andrew McNamee, Daisy Norman, Daniela Vanac, Angela Righi, Stephanie Rocuskie, Phil Scinto, Jenna Seibert, Tyler Tibayan, Natasha Vanac and Tori Updike
Malia will be four years old on April 20. During my 20 week scan we found out that something didn't look right with our babies heart. We were sent to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital to get a second opinion. It was there that we met Dr. Strainic who told us that our baby girl had a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. Tetralogy of Fallot is made up of four different heart defects. A hole in the wall between the two lower chambers which is called a ventricular septal defect. The second defect is Pulmonary stenosis Which is the near one of the pulmonary valve. The third defect is where the aortic valves, which opens to the aorta, is enlarged and seems to open from both ventricles, rather than from the left ventricle only, as in a normal heart. In this defect, the aortic valve sits directly on top of the ventricular septal defect. And the fourth defect that makes up Tetralogy of Fallot is the muscular wall of the lower right chamber of the heart is thicker than normal. This also is called ventricular hypertrophy.
Malia had her first surgery at six weeks old. We went in for a routine cardiology appointment and were sent directly to Rainbows for an emergency BT shunt surgery. During this time, she developed an infection and we were in the PICU for 24 days. But we finally made it home! Then at six months old Malia had her second open heart surgery to correct the defects. This past December 8th, Malia underwent her third open heart surgery. This little girl of ours is not only a miracle, not only survivor, and not only a heart warrior, she is a sister, daughter, and granddaughter and a great granddaughter! She is the love of my life and has shown me strength I never knew I had. We never know what the future holds so we are just living one day at a time and trying to smile through it all.
Presented by The Insurance Pad, LLC
Team Montanna: Rebecca Arko, Sam Benton, Chloe Baldauf, Cindy Baldauf, Michelle Booher, Evelyn Coles, Elise Croff, Amy Ertas, Hisami Johira, Brian Kollmorgen, Kim Rankin, Arial Birtley, Brian Starick, Carolyn Weis, Kristin Siford and Jeremy Vanhorn
Montanna was just shy of three years old when she was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome in 2011. Nephrotic syndrome effects the kidneys ability to properly filter protein. She started steroid treatments that proved to be unsuccessful. After several hospitalizations due to edema, lethargy, and difficulty breathing a biopsy test determined that she had minimal change steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome.
Once her specific diagnosis was determined doctors were able to adjust her treatment that included multiple daily medications and protein testing. The treatment was able to keep her symptoms at bay until this past year. She stopped responding and symptoms returned resulting in the need for a chemotherapy treatment. At this time, it is unclear what to expect next with the progression of her health because more research needs to be done on the syndrome. In order to help others like her, Montanna has participated in a variety of studies to help gather more information on the cause, progression, and treatment of nephrotic syndrome.
Montanna is now 9 years old enjoying her time building Lego creations, reading, and playing school. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and dogs. One of her favorite places to go is the beach where she likes to swim and collect seashells.
Presented by Sandridge Food Corporation.
Team Paige: Norman Bailey, Stefany Colon, Marc Earl, Jennifer Edgel, Lisa Freed, Bruce Barry, Jim McHugh, Nicole McMasters, Sarah Obugene, Vanessa Pintabona, Tim Major, Leah Radabaugh, Austin Schwenk, Lisa Holy, Richard Wolanin, and Erika Zakrajsek
Paige was a healthy 9-month-old baby girl whose life changed suddenly when a brain tumor was discovered during a CT scan for an
unrelated health issue. Although this was a heartbreaking revelation, it turned out to be a blessing, because the tumor was caught in the early stage of growth. Despite the tumor's small size, it was unfortunately located in a very dangerous area between the pituitary gland and optic nerves. Her Cleveland Clinic oncology team decided that quick intervention was necessary.
Paige soon underwent a 9-hour surgery followed by 18 months of chemo treatments. She had to endure several more surgeries to insert feeding tubes, spinal drains, and chemo ports. Despite these complications, Paige remained a strong, happy baby who seemed to be unaware that there was life outside of the hospital, since she has spent so much of her life as an inpatient. But a few months after her first birthday, she was able to go home, where she continued to improve. At two and a half years old, she successfully completed her chemo regimen, and thankfully what little remains of her tumor has remained stable ever since.
Although Paige has lost all pituitary function and most of her vision, she has overcome these challenges to excel in everything she does. She is now a rising high school junior studying several advanced classes with a consistent place on the honor roll. She loves life, learning, and enjoys having an amazing group of supportive friends. She is also working towards her gold award as a longtime Girl Scout. Her experiences have sparked an interest in medicine and neuroscience, which she intends to pursue in college.
Presented by Angie Grajzl, ReMax Traditions
Team Vivi: Jackie Bruner, Jim Callam, Jessica Cianfaglione, Melissa Colarik, Jessica Elliott, Beth Gibson, Angie Grajzl, Burl Lane, Dennis Lane, John Lane, Matt Lane, Tonya Reidy, Christine Valentino, Liz DePaul, Kathy Kriebel and Casey Vanac
Viv was diagnosed with Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia on Thursday, July 20, 2017. After weeks of fevers, joint pain, and anemia, the doctors at University Hospital's Rainbow Children's diagnosed her with cancer. She spent 5 months in the hospital battling two rounds of chemotherapy, over a month in the Pediatric ICU where she experienced complications from treatment and ultimately required an ostomy procedure. Ultimately, Viv persevered and was able to make it to a bone marrow transplant. Viv went into a state of remission after the second round of chemotherapy.
She’s been home with her sisters since late December and has been thriving and living a (relatively) normal life. She celebrated her 2nd birthday in January and we’re praying each and every day that she remains in remission and we can look forward to a better future with Viv.
your support helps. A Lot.
A Special Wish Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to granting the wishes of children under the age of 21 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. They are the only Cleveland-based wish-granting foundation, and your support will grant a #BigWish for ten Lake county kids diagnosed with life-threatening illness.
For more information, please email us.
Please come to support and cheer on these athletes through their 24th and final miles at 11:00 am on Sunday, August 26 at the Lake County Captains Stadium located at 35300 Vine St, Willowick, OH 44095.
Thank you, sponsors!
We couldn't take on this challenge without your generous support. Thank you for all you do for our community! If you or your business is interested in becoming a sponsor, please email us.