On April 26, our community will join together once again for the 2nd Annual Laps for Life Fun Run/Walk at Kildonan Park to raise funds and awareness for Batten Disease.
If you haven’t heard of Batten Disease you aren’t alone. It is a rare degenerative neurological disorder that presently has no cure. Children appear to be normal at birth. Somewhere between the ages of two and 10 they start having trouble forming their words, have seizures, go blind, and lose the ability to walk and talk.
There are twelve diagnosed cases in Canada, with four of those children living in Manitoba — three in Winnipeg and one in Brandon. One of those children is five-year-old Mackenzie Gair, who lives in River East and attends Emerson Elementary School.
The Laps for Life Fun Run/Walk was created to support those families affected by Batten Disease. Caring for a loved one who is sick can be stressful. The goal is to raise money for Manitoba families to help ease their financial burden as they try to provide the unique supports necessary for their child to live a fuller life at home. Money will also be donated to the Canadian Chapter of the Batten Association to aid in research.
There are different ways you can participate. Visit www.runningroom.com to register for:
• The Batten Kid Virtual Marathon that runs from April 1 to April 26;
• The 2nd Annual Laps for Life Fun Run/Walk on April 26;
• To purchase a T-shirt (deadline March 26th) or www.jodyzarn.com/laps-life-technical-t-shirts/
You can also contact the community event organizer, Jody Zarn, to find out other ways to get involved and volunteer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-334-8489.
Our community has a proud history of coming together time after time for special events and grassroots projects that continue to shape and define who we are. Last year many families came out to show their support and volunteered or walked. I know the staff, parents and students at Emerson Elementary School will rise to the challenge again to support the Gairs and Mackenzie.
Please join all of us who want to help bring awareness to Batten Disease and show our love and support for these families.
Together, we can make a difference!