Team In Training

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

The Virginia Beach 1/2 Marathon's Team in Training raised $2.4 million. Most of that money will be given to hospitals, including UVA where Kelly and George are treated.

"Before George got sick we really weren't aware, didn't understand what it takes to treat a child like this," Glenn Reid, George's Dad says.

After eight months of treatment, countless tears and thousands of dollars in medical bills, they have a better idea.

"We all benefit from the funding you're raising," Reid says.

At UVA, it's used in ways the patients can actually see it.

"One is to buy the extras the states not going to provide. The rocking chairs, the coloring books, the band aides," Dr. Nancy McDaniel says.

And don't forget George's favorite, the Nintendos.

Donations to UVA also go to research, to find shorter treatments and new drugs.

"The experimental medicine has dramatically reduced the size of his liver and has even helped his energy level," Kitra Coffman, Kelly's Mom says.

"If George had been diagnosed 20 years ago, the chances he'd live would be slim," Reid explains.

Not anymore, cure rates for childhood leukemia are getting higher everyday.

"The technology has really come far and the marathon that you ran it's really raised a lot of money to help find different ways to help kids with Leukemia," Coffman says.

Coffman says a big help is raising awareness in the Valley.

"People don't know Leukemia's not contagious-some people think it is. There's got to be a lot more awareness out," Coffman says.

And more money doesn't hurt.

"Every little dollar counts it's not the million dollar ones-we need them, but it's the $10-$100 donors that help your neighbor, the friend," Dr. McDaniel says.

"We're all looking for a cure and without funding and without research and the doctors and nurses, the support of family and friends, the church- people can't get through this," Reid says.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that these kids are fighters. And seeing where the money's going, shows them they're not alone.


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