News Tip


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This September, you can make a difference during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by participating in the RunTough for ChadTough Defeat DIPG 5K and 1M Fun Run and Tot Sprint!

Now in its 10th year, the annual RunTough event, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, will take place in person on Saturday, September 16, at Saline High School and virtually from anywhere in the world. This community event brings together families and volunteers, both locally and across the world, to raise money for childhood brain cancer research in honor of Chad Carr, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 5.

This year’s local event will feature a variety of ways for the whole family to have a ton of fun, all while making a difference in the fight against childhood brain cancer. Come early to enjoy the DJ, hang out with Saline mascot “Sting,” and let the kids get their hair decked out for the event by Jeffrey McLaughlin and his crew from Renew Salon & Spa.

In keeping with tradition, the race will begin once the Saline fire truck blows its horn. The foundation is excited to welcome back 4-year-old Elowyn Pollard, who has been battling DIPG for 13 months, as our honorary hornblower.

Runners/walkers will be cheered on along the route by athletes from both the University of Michigan and Saline High School. Upon finishing the race, participants will receive a medal and have the chance to get a snack and enjoy the Family Fun Zone, sponsored by Meijer, which will include a dunk tank, an inflatable obstacle course, face painting, and other surprises. Back by popular demand, the foundation will also host a TOT SPRINT in the Family Fun Zone around 9:45am. And don’t forget, kids 5 & under are FREE!

The first RunTough event was held in 2014, just 5 weeks after Chad was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), the deadliest form of childhood brain cancer. When the Saline community learned the disease had nearly a 0% survival rate, they rallied together in a magnificent show of support for the Carr family, and the first race raised more than $15,000.

Since then, RunTough has raised nearly $2.5 million for research and has become one of the foundation’s primary fundraisers. While runners can still join the Carr family in person in Saline and can run past Chad’s house on the 5K route, virtual participants are welcome to run, walk, bike, or daydream… wherever and whenever it works for them!

This event will always be much more than just a race to the Carr family. It’s a way for them to celebrate Chad’s birthday in a meaningful way, surrounded by the community that has lent them support since the day they learned Chad had terminal cancer — just 3 days before his 4th birthday.

“When you lose a child, special anniversaries are so hard,” said Tammi Carr, Chad’s mom and foundation co-founder, “but having something constructive to do in Chad’s honor, with our entire community, has made this one of our favorite weekends. I love seeing families engaged, and it’s wonderful to know that we’re doing so much good on his birthday.”

Over the years, the foundation has grown to include dozens of other families from across the country and Mexico. Many of the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Family Partners, who have also faced childhood brain cancer, are hosting virtual teams or their own local events in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

RunTough in Saline will kick off at 8:30am on September 16 with an opening ceremony led by the Carr family. The 5K and 1M Fun Run will start at 9am, and families are welcome to check out the Family Fun Zone throughout the event. There also will be awards for the top 5K runners by age group.

“Seeing so many people out there come together for this cause is a physical way for us to see how our children’s legacy is raising awareness and changing the world,” said Tammi.

Click here to register or learn more.

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