Wolfson Children's 55K Challenge takes place in downtown Jacksonville

Run raises money, celebrates lives of its young patients

By Ethan Calloway - Anchor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Wolfson Children's 55K Challenge happened Saturday in downtown Jacksonville with an army of supporters passionate about why they participate.

For parents, like Teresa Sumner, the event is more than just a run. Her son, Rian, spent four and a half months in the Wolfson NICU. He was born with pulmonary hypertension, leading him to fight for his life.

Today, he's attending the challenge, something his mother said wouldn't be possible without the hospital.

"If it wasn't for Wolfson and the amazing staff that they are, you know, we wouldn't have Rian today," Sumner said. "They've just been amazing from the staff to the doctors."

The run raises money for the region's only children's hospital accepting all children, regardless of ability to pay.

In addition to fundraising, Saturday's event is about celebrating the lives of its young patients, many of whom were there.

"We're real excited about it, and getting to come out and see other miracles of kids that's also gone through the same journey as us," Sumner said.

"It's always fun to catch up, see how the kids are doing, see how the parents are doing, and it's just an awesome opportunity to reconnect with some friends ever year," participant Chris Busby said.

Many, regardless of their experience with Wolfson, said the event is one of the best Jacksonville has to offer.

"It's very heartwarming, and I think it brings people closer together to talk about their issues that they may be going (through) and connect with others," participant Karen Trower said.

Fifty-five children were featured during Saturday's races, sharing their inspiring stories. Proceeds go toward the purchase of equipment and technology to help treat patients.

News4Jax is proud to sponsor the event.‚Äč

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