BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Deep into its spring season, the Lehigh field hockey team took time out of its busy schedule to take part in a 5K walk last Saturday morning (Mar. 24) to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley. The Third Annual Run to LIVE featured an 8K run, 5k walk and 1/2 mile fun run on the Ironton Rail Trail in Whitehall, Pa. The Mountain Hawks walked as a team to benefit pediatric cancer.
“The team is heavily involved with student-athlete council and helping out in different areas, but we wanted to do something together as a team,” said Lehigh head coach Stacey Blue. “We picked a race that was local and saw a cause that meant a lot. Many people on our team, and in the world, know someone who’s suffered from different types of cancer, so it reaches all of us.
“Since it was kids with cancer, it definitely means a lot because every single person on our team loves kids,” Blue continued. “It became really important for us to walk as a team for a really good cause.”
“Taking part in this event was not only a great team bonding experience, but also a great opportunity to help raise money for children within the Lehigh Valley area,” said junior Melissa Kuhns. “It was also great to see the families, friends and teams who came together for such a worthy cause.”
The walk was a moving experience, seeing those affected by cancer with a positive outlook on life. Cancer truly affects an entire family.
“The race itself was very touching, to see the families with such hope,” said Blue. “They have smiles all over their face and look like they’re not going through anything. It’s really important to them. Sometimes all of us take life for granted, so it was a good reminder for everyone.”
It was an emotional experience as photographs of those affected by cancer were hung along the race trails. It’s something that truly hit home.
“We were amazed at how positive and full of life the children were despite their condition,” said Kuhns. “I think they were just as amazed seeing the community come together to support them.”
There was a special Lehigh connection involved as Jack Knutson, a cancer survivor who the football team embraced last fall, ended up walking with the field hockey team.
“We were walking behind his family,” said Blue. “That was a cool connection. All our girls knew who he was through football. That was cool because he was excited he knew people from Lehigh.”
In the end, it was definitely a worthwhile experience for all.
“The thing I will remember most from walking in the 5K is how someone so young can have such a huge impact on you,” said Kuhns. “It didn't matter that they were children; they were still heroes and role models to everyone, no matter the age.”
About The Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley
The Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley hosts three main fundraisers each year: 8k Run/5k Walk in March, Golf Outing in May and Art Gala for childhood cancer awareness in September. All fundraisers help PCFLV continue to provide free programs and services to local families. This 8K Run/5K Walk focuses on raising money to send local families to a one-week respire camp in Maine to help support and recharge the entire family during and throughout their diagnosis and treatment. Our first year, 2010 we were able to send six (6) families to Camp Sunshine. Our second year, 2011, we were thrilled to send 12 families to Camp. We are so excited and thrilled to continue to support our local families both with quality programs locally and the ability to send them to an amazing facility like Camp Sunshine annually.