Davis, Linder lead run against pediatric cancer

Kylie Davis of Richland and Emilee Linder of Hedrick organized the Running For Pediatric Cancer 5K Run and walk for their FCCLA project. All proceeds will go to Mercy Children's Hospital.

            When Pekin High students Emilee Linder and Kylie Davis began planning for their FCCLA project, one of the first things that came to the girl’s mind was the new tradition of waving at the kids at the Steed Children’s Hospital in Iowa City during Hawkeye football games.

            “Our project was supposed to be something that helps the community, and we thought the wave has made a lot of progress there,” Linder said. “We thought about a project that would also help kids, so pediatric cancer came to mind. We’ve seen breast cancer walks before, but I had never seen a pediatric cancer run/walk before.”

            Linder brought the idea to Davis, and the joined forces to bring the Running For Pediatric Cander 5K Run and Walk alive. Together, the girls put out flyers across Hedrick, Pekin and Richland to promote the event, with all proceeds going to Mercy Children’s Hospital. The girls also used social media to spread the word as nearly 50 signed up.

            “It has been very rewarding to see some of those who have signed up who have experienced childhood cancer and hear their stories,” Linder said. “Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to give to cancer patients to help cost of treatment. We chose Mercy in Des Moines because Mercy is known nationwide and is one of the top ranked hospitals and we know they will use our donation wisely.”

            The big day came on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Richland Park on a wet, cold day to the chagrin of all those involved. However, a good group of participants still came, plus late entrees that morning. The runners and walkers made their way around Richland, with the option to do a mile as well.

            “Doing a walk like this makes feel good, being able to help the community and children with pediatric cancer,” Davis said. “We learned a lot from doing this project, like don’t procrastinate and to picking better days than today.”

            Davis and Linder estimated they raised over $635 from the walk alone, but will continue to raise funds for the cause until March, with a goal to hit $2,000. Their FCCLA project will be presented at the district level in February.