In 2010 London’s Run partnered up with Positive Impact, a non-profit organization committed to helping families in need. Positive Impact’s mission is to help Arizona families in crisis by helping pay for life-giving medical procedures, groceries and utilities. Ninety-five percent of all funds raised is used to directly assist families with their basic living and medical needs. Just like London’s Run, Positive Impact is powered 100% by volunteers; there are no paid employees. London’s Run is proud to support this great cause in our community.
To learn more, please visit their website: Click Here
Aloriea Georgette Carol Bounds
Aloriea Georgette Carol Bounds was born on June 6th, 2005 to Daniele Ann Montogomery and Daniel James Bounds. She calls herself the Yellow Rose of Texas. Alorieas’ mom Dani unexpectantly passed away in 2008 to a rare autoimmune disorder. Aloriea matured fast and lovingly helps take care of her 6 month old brother in her mom’s place. The heartbroken family held each other together with love. The Bounds and Wiseman family found each other at the end of 2009. Dan lost his dad that October, he was the kids primary caregiver while Dan worked full time.
It was hard to believe a family had already endured so much. Happiness was finally on the horizon when the 2 families came together. The Brady bunch of Dan, Heather and their 5 kids moved in together. Still hurting from the loss of her beloved mom and grandfather, Aloriea was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma on May 11th, 2011. How much more could a family take? Their lives changed in the blink of an eye. Aloriea immediately had surgery to place a line to receive chemo, bone marrow and tumor biopsies. The staff in the East Valley PCH outpatient clinic delete made her difficult, lengthy treatments a little less difficult without having to travel to Phoenix everyday. Aloriea has had a total of eight cycles of chemo and one stem cell transplant over the course of 7 months.
The family has just recently found out that Aloriea’s cancer is not responding to the chemo and is considered refractory. Aloriea will be headed to New York for her first clinical trial very soon. There is still a lot of treatment left to go through for a family that has been through so so much. We would like to thank everyone for their thoughtfulness, support, love and prayers.
Brody Blagen is 3 years old and was diagnosed with AML. He completed his treatment in September and is currently in remission. As anyone who has gone through this experience knows, remission is awesome, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over! We are thrilled to help Brody continue on his road to full recovery.
Sophie Chantel Hall
Sophie Chantel Hall is a beautiful, bubbly four year old girl whose sweetness and energy is truly captivating and infectious. She is the peacemaker in our home and has been called our “Sweet Sophie Bear” since the day she was born. She has the sweetest smile and is the most kind, loving 4 year old around. Her favorite color is purple and she loves princesses (Ariel is her favorite). Sophie has 2 sisters, Reece (7) and Haiden (2). Sophie is the perfect middle child because she is so easy going and considerate of everyone’s feelings. She loves to do crafts, make puzzles, read books, watch movies, play games, listen to music while dancing with her sisters, and play dolls with her sisters. We play tons of card games and board games at our house and Sophie is the reigning Uno champ! There really is no game that she can’t play!
Sophie was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL) on November 19, 2011. This was the day that has forever changed our lives! There is no way to prepare yourself for when you get the horrible news that your baby has cancer. Even though this has definitely been one of the hardest trials that we have gone through to date, we try to look at the positive and realize how truly blessed we are. There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that we haven’t seen miracles all around us. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends and family who love us, support us and serve us everyday! They have truly been angels in our lives and answers to our prayers. Our family motto is, “Find Joy in the Journey” and that is what we try to do everyday. The Lord is so mindful of us and for that we are eternally grateful.
During the early diagnosis stage, Sophie spent 10 days in the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and has been at home since. Sophie’s treatment consists of getting her blood and vitals taken every Wednesday at the (PCH) East Valley Clinic and then on Thursdays she gets chemotherapy injected into her portacath (port). Everything else can take place at “home sweet home.” Sophie is such a trooper and does so well with all the pokes and prodding that go on every week. We call Thursday’s, Yucky Thursday’s, but other than that one bad day of the week, Sophie has been amazing! She has dealt with swallowing pills and losing most of her hair so well that sometimes I forget that she is only 4. We definitely have a new normal, but Sophie has such a positive attitude, and never complains about having cancer.
Since she has been feeling so good after her first phase of chemotherapy, (end of December) we have been able to frequent the parks again, play outside and even go back to Preschool. This was one of the happiest days for Sophie because she absolutely loves Preschool and has missed it so much (especially her teacher!) January has been such a great month because Sophie has been able to return to some of her normal activities after being confined to our house for so long! She is a very special spirit and we have no doubt that she is gonna beat this cancer. Go Team Sophie Bear – Together we WILL beat cancer!
Maliyah Amena Gasper
UPDATE: Maliyah’s spirit remained strong, but her body could not longer maintain and she passed from this world at the tender age of 8 on September 16, 2011. Her friends and family will long remember her sweet smile, picture her riding her bike and making others smile. The Solomon’s and the whole London’s Run family hopes the Gasper family peace and comfort. She will always be remembered for her positive, humorous and upbeat attitude on life; truly a life that like London’s, was lived cheerfully in spite of hardship.
Maliyah Amena Gasper blessed the Gasper family with her presence on March 17, 2003. In such a short time within her life at the age of two years old she was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma in January 2005. After a year of many surgeries, radiation treatments and chemotherapy treatments she made it through keeping a bright, energetic smile on her face. Although she thought this journey was over in 2006, she was hit yet again with the news that her cancer had returned in 2008. Once again she had to endure another year of treatment. While spending most of the year in the hospital, Maliyah would bring a smile to each and everyone she came into contact with her unconditional love, heart full of hope and desire to live. A spirit so positive that it is unbelievable to think a sweet little girl who greets everyone with a hug, or a kiss followed by a joke or two, would have to endure such a horrible fate. Since her third relapse in 2010, Maliyah has faced surgery after surgery and daily chemotherapy treatments in the attempt to contain the tumor from returning. Currently doctors has said her cancer is incurable, despite that Maliyah still manages to find ways to enjoy life by being quite the entertainer. She loves to sing, dance, draw, and most of all spend time making others laugh. Maliyah is a natural fighter and has strength beyond her youth. Her famous words of encouragement before a procedure “Don’t worry mommy, this is no sweat, see ya”. Every challenge that crosses her path she handles it with stride and maturity. She is a true angel sent from above.
UPDATE: Breanna was valiant during treatment. She did not loose hope and was brave to the end. It was a crowning moment when she got out of her wheelchair and literally ran as best she could in her weakened state across the finish line at London’s Run 2010. She was truly an inspiration to all. She passed from this life to the next on just two weeks after her triumphant finish on February 11, 2011 . The Solomon family empathizes with their loss and are so proud of the courage the Pena family has shown. We hope that the Pena’s will still realize blessings far beyond what they could have ever imagined, and that their faith will be rewarded with peace and comfort.
13 year old Breanna Pena discovered a lump and what she thought was a bruised bug bite on her breast. Shortly after these appeared other small bruise-like spots began appearing across her torso. After many lab tests as well as breast and bone marrow biopsies she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Breanna was extremely blessed that she discovered the lumps and bruising immediately. She was able to begin treatments when her blood counts were still very high because we had caught it so quickly. She is facing chemotherapy treatments that require her to be hospitalized for 5-8 weeks at a time. She will do this process 3 times, with only 1-2 weeks at home between cycles, to hopefully completely eradicate the cancer cells from her body and bone marrow. Following that, she will have a bone marrow transplant. We are currently searching for the donor because none of her siblings matched.
Breanna is an amazing young woman. She is in all advanced classes at school and has maintained straight A’s for her entire school education. She is acknowledged in National Yearbooks like Who’s Who Among American Middle School Students and United States Academic Achievement Academy. She has been involved with Student Council for 4 years straight at 3 different schools. She was a cheerleader for the Combs Cougars during her 7th grade year. She is adventurous, funny, confident, intelligent lady. She enjoys reading, swimming, sports, dance, cheer, writing, drawing/sketching, and roller coasters.
UPDATE: Natalie finished up her 2 1/2 year treatment on August 13, 2011. We got the best news of our lives when the doctor called and said her last spinal and bone marrow showed she was “CANCER FREE”. She is now 17 years old and a junior in high school. She loves life and is set on becoming a pediatric oconlogy nurse. Natalie has a huge heart for helping other kids get through trials such as this and wants to make a difference. Natalie’s faith has inspired us and many others. She truly believes if you have faith, God will get you through anything. We are thankful everyday that our Awesome God has chose to heal Natalie and pray daily it is gone forever.
Natalie Erwin is the oldest of four children and has lived in Queen Creek for the past seven years. Natalie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in April of this year and is currently being treated with a very good prognosis. We are currently working on completing the last big phase of intense treatment before two years of maintenance. Natalie loves softball, choir, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her family. Natalie has a very strong faith and has no doubt God will heal her and see her through this journey. Natalie is full of life and brightens any room with her sweet smile. Her parents are reminded daily of what a gift she is and are so proud of her strength and courage.
UPDATE: Dustin is doing very well. He enjoys many of the same activities that he loved before Cancer. His love of life keeps the whole family going even through his painful leg lengthening treatments every 6 mos or so, he doesn’t let anything get him down. Even though he does not like to think about all that he has been through he knows how very lucky he is and lives every day to the fullest doing exactly the things that make him happy. He has a lot of support from family,friends, doctors and organizations, and he is very thankful for all the support. He has many plans for the future, and with his determination he will succeed, because he takes, sometimes large setbacks in stride!, But he never looks back, he just keeps moving forward.
Dustin loves anything with an engine in it and and his favorite is his motorcycle although he has not been able to ride since diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in January. He has had a full Femur, Knee and partial hip replacement surgery. Has also has had a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment. He is very determined in his recovery he was up walking very shortly after surgery. He is looking foreward to returning to school to his 4th grade class at Queen Creek Elementary, and being outdoors riding his pedal bike & just being a kid again…
You can read his journal at www. caringbridge.org/visit/dustybeers
Lorin Merkley , known as “Merk Dog” to friends and “Lorin the Magnificent to family was a typical 18 year old who enjoys school, friends and sports. Family, church, football and music were most important to him. Lorin started playing the piano at 6 years old and blessed his family with this talent. Lorin played football for 5 years and was a hard hitting lineman. He loved the payoff on Friday nights when he got to knock down the opposing team.
Lorin graduated from Queen Creek High School in 2008 and got a scholarship to Chandler/Gilbert Community College. His plans were to attend until he was diagnosed with cancer. Summer 2008 was filled with a lot of pain, which was eventually diagnosed as an advanced Sarcoma. Tests remained inconclusive, thus the cancer was named “undifferentiated” Sarcoma. Instead of starting college, Lorin started a cancer treatment protocol with aggressive chemotherapy. His treatment plan was to be 52 weeks of outpatient chemo and pain management while the tumors diminish.
Lorin was valiant during treatment. He lost alot of weight, his hair, the ability to walk, and his freedom but he did not loose his hope, his spirit or his will to live. He passed from this life to the next on November 18th surrounded by many friends and family. The Solomon family empathizes with their loss and are so proud of the courage the Merkley family has shown. Lorin’s motto was ETTE (Endure To The End) and his life has encouraged all those who know him to do the same.
London’s Run hopes that the Merkley’s will still realize blessings far beyond what they could have ever imagined, and that their faith will be rewarded with peace and comfort.
UPDATE: Troy continues to thrive just as any ordinary 7 year old should. He is in 2nd grade now and I am proud to say he gets EXCELLENT grades. He loves his family, skateboarding, playing the XBOX, his friends, his dog Rocky, and most recently his prized ITouch. Time continues to fly by and soon he will be baptized and begin attending Scouts, which he is very excited about. To look at him now, you would never know what he has been through, which I am grateful for. Although, one day he may not remember much at all about his cancer “journey” we as a family will never forget it. The love and support from our amazing family, friends, and even strangers still puts us in awe today. We continue to be grateful for each day together.
Troy, now 5 years old, is doing AMAZING and life is great. With less than a year left of treatment we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This year brought a whole new world with Troy attending kindergarten at the “big school” as he calls it. He loves school and is learning on target just as he should. Cousins, the Wii, riding scooters, friends, Lego’s, playing superheroes, and spending time with family occupy his days and make him happy. His daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly chemo treatments are no big deal to him and he still takes them all like a champ. We still count our blessings for every day we have together as a family and continue to feel so much gratitude for all the help and love we have received these past few years.
Visit www.troywendt.blogspot.com for updates on Troy.
UPDADE: Tucker returned home July 22, 2011 after serving a successful two year mission for his church. He is currently working and planning on attending school in the spring. His health is great which keeps him ornery as ever!! He continues with scans and blood work to keep him in check. Tucker is currently living at home with his 7 siblings, which makes for a very loud but FUN HOME!!
We are sad that this will be the final London’s Run. Thank you to all the beautiful people who have shown so many what it means to truly love one another.
Tucker McElhaney finishes his protocol of treatment for Anaplastic Lg Cell Lymphoma in remission. The 14 month protocol, including six months of intensive chemo will be followed by several years of “maintenance” which will include quarterly CT Scans and Echo Cardio tests. Today, Tucker is working diligently a full time job and preparing himself to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He continues to bless his family with his endearing spirit and courage to bravely face what lies ahead! London’s Run salutes Tucker and wishes him the best of luck in a bright cancer free future!
You can follow his progress at www.caringbridge.org/visit/tuckermcelhaney His family, Tucker’s mom Sandee and his five siblings are so grateful for your kind support.
UPDATE: Madison turned 8 years old this year and just celebrated 5 years of being remission in November 2011. The doctors told us that she is cured of her cancer. She only has to visit PCH one time a year now for check ups. Although a little scary to hear we are also very relieved. She is a sweet bubbly girl that enjoys life to the fullest. She loves dancing, singing, and playing softball. She is about to be a big sister for the second time but to a baby brother in April and is very excited about that.
Hi, my name is Madison Barton. My favorite color is blue. One of my favorite things to do is color pictures for people. My favorite snacks are fruit snacks, pop tarts, and funyons. I am in first grade and have a bunch of friends at school. I took swimming lessons over the summer and learned how to swim all by myself. I am also in Dance class where I take hip hop and tumbling but I am switching to pom and cheer this year. I have been healthy and in remission from Leukemia for 3 years now. I only have to go to the doctor every six months for check ups, I have come a very long way!
Visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/madisonbarton for updates about Madison.