Run For Their Lives: Hundreds participate in annual OHOH run to end childhood cancer

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Runners of all ages toed the start-finish line the morning of Saturday, March 31, at Helena High School with one goal in mind, to end childhood cancer.

For the fourth time, more than 800 serious runners, causal runners and anyone in between participated in the Run For Their Lives 10k, 5k and one mile fun run to support the Open Hands Overflowing Hearts and Elaine Roberts foundations.

OHOH was founded in 2014 by Kayla Funk of Hoover in response to her diagnosis of Neuroblastoma and the Elaine Roberts Foundation was founded by Laura Roberts in 2016 in memory of her daughter, Elaine, who was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Elaine Roberts was a student at Thompson High School when she was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma and passed away just 10 months after her diagnosis. Roberts died on Feb. 6, 2016 at the age of 16.

Cancer survivors and those who have lost loved ones to cancer had the opportunity to make a difference as all proceeds from Run For Their Lives benefitted both organizations goal to raise awareness and funding for pediatric cancer research, find a cure and ultimately bring an end to childhood cancer.

In addition to the run, the “pink heals” firetruck of Central Alabama was parked at Helena High School with heartfelt messages inscribed in sharpie on the truck. Golden balloons were also released into the air in memory of those who lost their lives to childhood cancer.

New to this year’s event was the Beads of Courage Carry a Bead Program to encourage a child coping with cancer at Children’s of Alabama. For $10, a participant received a matched bead set. One bead was kept by the participant and the other was carried and returned with a signed note of encouragement. The shared story becomes a source of shared strength for a child that gives hope, honor and courage.

For more information on Open Hands Overflowing Hearts or the Elaine Roberts Foundation, visit OHOH.org or Elainerobertsfoundation.org.

To view or purchase photos of the event, visit Shelbycountyphotos.com.