Make a difference for Make-A-Wish kids
Merritt Athletic Clubs’ 2nd annual Wish Race 5K to be held at CCBC Essex
On Sunday, April 30, lace up your sneakers and head over to the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex Campus for Merritt Athletic Clubs’ 2nd Annual Wish Race 5K Run and Walk. The 3.1-mile event will feature both a road race and trail run portions throughout the campus. 100% of proceeds will be donated to benefit Make-A-Wish MidAtlantic.
According to Race Director Andrew Lingelbach, who is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at Merritt Athletic Clubs, about 200 participants are expected to participate in this fundraiser for Make-A-Wish, presented by Chick-Fil-A Nottingham Square.
Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The organization’s mission reflects the life-changing impact that a MakeA-Wish experience has on children, families, and communities.
Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-A-Wish vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes. Some wishes include meeting favorite celebrities or sports stars, going to Disney World or on other dream vacations, and having other experiences that they would never have had a chance to do otherwise.
Last year’s Wish Race 5K was the first 5K that Merritt Athletic Clubs has ever hosted in its 40-year history. It all started the year prior when Lingelbach, who has been with Merritt for two and a half years, ran in a 5K sponsored by another gym. There was not a good turnout, and Lingelbach felt like there were things that could make the race better, so he approached management at Merritt Athletic Clubs about doing their own 5K for charity.
Lingelbach selected Make-A-Wish as the recipient for the proceeds of the 5K because as a toddler, he battled childhood cancer like many of the Make-A-Wish kids.
“I am a childhood cancer survivor. I went through the majority of my treatment when I was 3 and 4 years old so I really don’t remember much,” said Lingelbach.
Lingelbach was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer that starts in the retina, the very back part of the eye, when he was one and a half years old. According to the American Cancer Society, retinoblastoma is a rare disease, but it is the most common type of eye cancer in children. Only about 200 to 300 children are diagnosed with retinoblastoma each year in the United States.
“Make-A-Wish helps kids who are essentially losing their childhood because they are dealing with their health, something that most people take for granted,” he said. “I want to reach out and help that group of kids who weren’t as fortunate as I was.”
Lingelbach was treated with radiation and eventually had his left eye removed before the cancer had a chance to metastasize. “I was very blessed,” he said. Last year, the 5K raised more than $3,000 for Make-A-Wish, and this year, the goal is to raise $5,000. Merritt trainers will be on hand to warm up the crowd prior to the race, which participants can run or walk. There will also be food and music for runners and spectators alike. MOM’s Organic market will be donating produce for race participants.
“We are looking forward to an even bigger turnout this year for the 5K,” said Lingelbach. “It’s a great cause and I hope that people will come out to support it.”
You can register in person at the front desk at the Merritt Athletic Club in White Marsh, by email at email@example.com, or register on the morning of the race.
Here is a little more information on the Make-A-Wish wish granting process: There are four steps to granting a wish. Each step builds on the next to create amazing experiences that delight wish kids and their families. A wish experience is frequently a source of inspiration for children undergoing difficult medical treatments.
Step 1: Referral
Make-A-Wish relies on medical professionals, parents and children themselves for referrals. Children who have reached the age of 2½ and are under the age of 18 at the time of referral and have not received a wish from another wish-granting organization may be eligible for a wish.
Step 2: Medical Eligibility
They determine a child’s medical eligibility with the help of the treating physician. To receive a wish, the child must be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition (i.e., a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy).
Step 3: The Wish
They send one of their enthusiastic wish teams to learn the child’s one true wish. These committed volunteers connect with wish children, awaken their imaginations and help them envision an experience with the power to change lives.
Step 4: Creating Joy
The wish granters create an unforgettable experience driven by the child’s creativity. They strive to personalize each wish and to make it match the wish kid’s idea of a perfect day.
Wishes don’t just happen on their own. Make-A-Wish is only able to create lifechanging wish experiences with help from dedicated staff, volunteers, donors and other supporters, like those who will participate in the Wish Race 5K.
Merritt Athletic Clubs’ 2nd Annual Wish Race 5K
Sunday, April 30 at 9 a.m. Community College of Baltimore County — Essex Campus 7201 Rossville Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21237 For more information, go to http://midatlantic.wish.org/ news-and-events/calendar-ofevents/ events- time- folder/ fy17-events/merritt-athleticclub-5k-run-and-walk.
Ten-year-old Anniyah from Temple Hills, MD, is diagnosed with a nervous system disorder & wished to go to Walt Disney World Resort.