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Four Mile Run Brings Fun and Funds

September 29, 2016

On Saturday, Sept. 17, 650 runners and walkers lined up at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR) Brook Road Campus to start the fifth annual Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF) Four Mile Fun Run. Wearing everything from superhero costumes to team t-shirts, participants were ready to walk, run and jog through Richmond’s Northside to benefit CHF. Included in the crowd were more than 60 people wearing blue “Team Carter” shirts in honor of 7-year-old Carter Jackson.

A CHoR patient since he was a month old, Carter has tetrasomy 18p, a chromosomal condition that affects many parts of the body and can cause feeding difficulties and delayed development, and eosinophilic esophagitis, which causes inflammation and damage to the esophagus. He receives occupational, physical and speech therapy and participates in the Feeding Program at CHoR.

Members of Team Carter participated in the Four Mile Fun Run in honor of hospital patient Carter Jackson. The team’s 65 members raised $5,600, earning the team top fundraising honors.

In 2013, Jamie and her husband, Mike, organized the first Team Carter with six participants and raised approximately $480. Each year, they increased their efforts, raising more than $8,600 over four years. This year Team Carter’s 65 members raised $5,600, earning the team top fundraising honors.

“Carter jumped up and down and said ‘woo-hoo,’” Jamie recalled of his reaction to the top honors announcement. “Jumping and speaking are difficult for him so it was awesome [to see and hear].”

Jamie, who began forming the race team and collecting donations in June, said she was “blown away by the team’s fundraising efforts this year. People enjoy it so much they keep coming back.”

In addition to the CHF Fun Run, the Jacksons support the Foundation through Mike’s participation in the annual Mustaches for Kids fundraiser and his service on the M4K Richmond board, a local organization that raises money for children’s charities while growing mustaches. This summer, the Jackson family, which also includes 4-year-old Brayden, traveled to Pennsylvania to represent Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at the annual GIANT/MARTIN’S golf tournament.

“Carter loves attention and loves people,” Jamie said. “Seeing him feel special and unique in a positive way is so wonderful.”

This year’s Fun Run raised more than $32,000 for the Foundation. The day included food trucks, a children’s obstacle course and activities, music, raffle prizes, a superhero costume contest and recognition for all participants. The 2017 Fun Run is scheduled for Sept. 16.

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