The annual Stroll for Strong Kids wil be held this Saturday, June 2 at Genesee Valley Park to benefit the care provided by Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Stephanie Sheets, the Assistant Director of Community Affairs at Golisano Children’s Hospital, and Andrea Francis, the mother of cardiac patient Keegan, discussed the event Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“It is going to be ‘Out of This World,'” Sheets said of this year’s theme. “I know people are already having fun with it. I’ve gotten some messages about people who have ordered their space suits from Amazon and they’re just waiting for them to come in this year for the day of the event.”
There is a 5K and Stroll, of course, but so much more for families to enjoy. “It’s so much fun,” said Sheets. “We have Abbott’s as our presenting sponsor, so there’s cups of Abbott’s for everyone. Subway comes in and brings us our lunch. We have bounce houses from Blue Apple. We have clowns. The Amerks Moose is coming. I believe Spikes is going to make an appearance – loads of fun!”
For the Francis family, Golisano Children’s Hospital will always hold a special place in their heart. “So back in 2013 my son Keegan and his twin brother Aiden were born at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Keegan was actually born with transposition of the great arteries, which is a very serious congenital heart defect that requires life saving open heart surgery within the first few days of life. So that’s what we anticipated. We expected he would have his surgery in the first few days, but he threw us some more curve balls and he was actually on life support for seven days prior to his surgery, so during that seven long days we go to know the hospital staff and the social workers and the doctors. We were in constant contact with them as we were maneuvering sitting by his bedside and being home with his twin brother at that point. So it’s a very special place to us. They did his surgery at 13 days old. He was in the hospital a total of 36 days, and came home and had to learn how to eat and be an infant, learn how to be a normal infant, so we’re just extremely grateful for the hospital and everything that they’ve done for our family.”
The Francis family and many other families have gathered their teams to run and stroll Saturday. You can get involved too, and support the good work being done at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The 5K registration begins at 7:15 a.m. and the Stroll registration begins at 8:00 a.m.
For more information about this year’s Stroll for Strong Kids, click here.