Running group hosting charity event
Airdronians will have the opportunity to give back to a life-saving facility this fall.
The QuickSilver Running Team, an Airdrie-based running group, is hosting its annual charity run, Oct 27. The Back 9 Run and Ultra will feature five, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50-kilometre races. The event is free, but organizers are asking participants to provide a donation for The Alberta Children’s Hospital.
The hospital is near and dear to the organizer’s heart as a valued running coach’s son has spent much of the last year regularly visiting or being treated at the facility.
Airdrie Koinonia Christian School student Cody Lenz, then 14, was diagnosed with a malignant tumour on his cerebellum last March.
The diagnosis came after Cody, who was a member of Airdrie’s competitive soccer team, Airdrie FC (formerly the Aztecs) for three years, fell during a school snowboard trip in February and received what doctors first called a concussion.
However, the injury did not seem to get better and Cody complained of feeling lethargic, having headaches and was losing his balance. His parents felt the diagnosis of a concussion wasn’t correct and pushed for more tests.
“When he started losing interest in soccer, we knew this was not our boy,” said Steve Lenz, Cody’s father. “We had lots of trips to urgent care.”
An MRI showed a tumour the size of a racquetball on the teen’s cerebellum, which proved to malignant. With a diagnosis of stage zero cancer, Cody had the tumour removed and underwent a series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
“He astounded the doctors and four days after, he was getting discharged because he was going out with his friends to the hospital’s putting green,” said Lenz, adding his son has no balance deficit and there hasn’t been a return of the cancer.
With one more chemotherapy treatment to go through in October, the teen is doing well.
“Cody is doing extremely well, he has a great spirit of understanding and recognition that all of the (treatments) have to be done for his long-term health,” said Lenz.
Lenz said he was thrilled with the care his son received at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, especially the stem cell rescue treatment he had after undergoing chemotherapy.
“Instead of relying on blood products from someone else, he got back a dose of his own stem cells,” said Lenz. “That is part of the magic of what the Children’s Hospital is now. (Building the new facility) has brought world-class talent here and they have brought novel ideas.”
Lenz, who has lived in Airdrie since 2001, said he is thrilled the running club chose to support the facility.
“I am very encouraged by (the club) and supported by them,” he said. “The whole theme of Quicksilver Running is to help people stay healthy and fit. They have been supportive from the outset.”
Lenz added the community also came together in support of his family with businesses, such as Cam Clark Ford, and events, such as the Rocky View Show and Shine making donations to them.
“That is just the nature of the city of Airdrie,” said Lenz. “The community is there for you and you get back more than you every put out.”
Quicksilver Running Co-Founder Scott Brass said the race will be the group’s fifth annual and it hopes to raise $1,000 for the Children’s Hospital.
Last year, the group raised $600 for the Canadian Liver Foundation.
Brass welcomes runners of all abilities to attend the free race, which will be concluded with a barbecue at Nose Creek Valley Museum at noon, also cost-free.
Races will begin at Bert Church High School’s football field. Runner will do loop around east Airdrie. Runners participating in the 40 and 50-kilometre runs will begin at 6:30 a.m., 20 and 30-kilometre runners will start at 8:30 a.m. and five and 10-kilometre runners will start at 10:30 a.m.
Runners are asked to register online at www.quicksilverrunning.com
Brass invites residents to take part for a good cause.
“We all know The Alberta Children’s Hospital exists, but it is not until you have to go there that you see the work they do,” he said. “Steve was just amazed at how his family was treated.”