The ChadTough Foundation raised close to $187,400 through its 4th Annual RunTough for ChadTough event, Saturday (Sept. 23). All proceeds will go toward Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) research.
There were 2,026 registered participants: 1,125 in Saline, Mich., 247 in Grand Rapids, Mich., and 654 virtual, which included at least one participant in every state and individuals in Japan, China, Germany, Ireland, and more. Virtual registration and fundraising will remain open until Sat., Sept. 30.
"Three years ago was diagnosis day - D-Day - the day that forever changed our lives," said Tammi Carr to those in attendance in Saline. "It can happen in an instant and nothing you ever expect and your life has changed. Seven years - he would be seven years old on Tuesday. I think about what he'd be like, but I know that he is smiling down on us and he's proud of us, so that's very helpful."
Among those running in Saline were University of Michigan's Dr. Carl Koschmann and Dr. Rajen Mody and members of their respective labs. Dr. Koschmann, who was recently in the news after a study of Chad Carr's donated tumor was released, was the "honorary horn-puller" of the race.
"We never planned for that to be even a role, but for the two races, that was Chad's role," said Jason Carr, who went on to talk about the recent research findings. "... (the paper) was special for a few reasons: one, it was Carl, so we were happy for Carl that he came out with this amazing finding. Two, it was special because it was really our first project that we were a part of and then, three -- kind of the icing on the cake -- is that it was the tumor that was the base of this project was Chad's tumor that we had donated when he passed away.
"So a lot of emotions, a lot of excitement, but we're so appreciative of Mott and Carl and we're excited to have him here today."
Saturday's race in Grand Rapids was orchestrated by Tommy Ruddy's family, Tom, Amanda, and Isabella. Tommy passed away on Nov. 3, 2016, after an 11-week battle with DIPG. The Ruddy family has become a ChadTough partner family.