Soud­er­ton ‘Le­mon Run­ners’to run for late pe­di­atric can­cer pa­tient

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Jen­nifer Con­nor

Life never was easy for lit­tle Jolee Boarder, born pre­ma­turely March 25, 2008, weigh­ing in at just 1 pound, 6 ounces. She VSHnW PuFK RI KHU fiUVW yHDU RI OLIH Rn UHVSLUDWRUV DnG fiJKWLnJ D sep­tic in­fec­tion — she even had heart surgery.

Af­ter a stint of good health, in Au­gust 2009, the 1-year-old de­vel­oped “un­ex­plain­able” fevers. Her pe­di­a­tri­cian sent her to the Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal of Philadel­phia (CHOP) for test­ing.

“Dur­ing an ul­tra­sound of Jolee’s ab­domen the tech­ni­cian looked over at my hus­band and I and said, ‘What are you guys here for any­way?’ and we knew some­thing was very wrong,” Jess Boarder, Jolee’s mother, wrote in the Board­ers’ Alex’s Le­mon­ade Stand bio.

The doc­tors found a mass on Jolee’s ab­domen, then found tu­mors in her bone mar­row and bones. Since Jolee was so small, she got a na­so­gas­tric (NG) tube in or­der to keep her size up to re­ceive chemo­ther­apy. Dur­ing her treat­ment, her par­ents wrote that she “looked like a can­cer pa­tient” and had no hair, eye­lashes or eye­brows.

Jolee lost her nine-month-bat­tle with neu­rob­lsatoma in April 2010, and this year, her mem­ory lives on as Team Jolee par­tic­i­pates in The Le­mon Run Nov. 11.

The Le­mon Run is the Alex’s Le­mon­ade Stand Foun­da­tion’s an­nual 5K fundrais­ing event and is held at Memo­rial Hall in Fair­mount Park from 8:30 to 11 a.m. A fam­ily friendly event, the day in­cludes a kids’ dash and par­tic­i­pa­tion of child­hood can­cer heroes and their fam­i­lies.

For Corinne Degeiso, who formed Soud­er­ton-based “Team Jolee” with her hus­band, Paul, it is im­por­tant that more fund­ing is avail­able for pe­di­atric can­cer re­search. Ac­cord­ing to CHOP sta­tis­tics, only about 4 per­cent of the $5.508 bil­lion in gov­ern­ment fund­ing an­nu­ally for can­cer re­search is ded­i­cated to child­hood can­cer.

“As a mother, it is im­por­tant to me that more fund­ing is made avail­able be­cause pe­di­atric can­cer is the lead­ing cause of death for chil­dren un­der 15,” Degeiso said.

Ev­ery year, nearly 10,400 chil­dren un­der the age of 15 are di­ag­nosed with can­cer and the av­er­age age of a child di­ag­nosed in 10, ac­cord­ing to CHOP sta­tis­tics.

Degeiso, who is good friends with Jess Boarder, formed the team to sup­port her friends. Team Jolee hopes to raise $1,000 be­fore the race and are ask­ing for the community’s help. To do­nate, visit alexsle­mon­ade.org/ my­page/86686.

Alex’s Le­mon­ade Stand Foun­da­tion raises money and aware­ness of child­hood can­cer causes through re­search into new treat­ments and cures. It also seeks to en­cour­age chil­dren to help make a dif­fer­ence for chil­dren with can­cer.

The Le­mon Run is just one way to sup­port the foun­da­tion. Team Le­mon, the foun­da­tion’s “ath­letic arm,” in­vites ath­letes of any cal­iber to raise money for those af­fected by child­hood can­cer through par­tic­i­pa­tion in run­ning, biking, swim­ming and any ath­letic event of their choos­ing. For ex­am­ple, Alex’s Le­mon­ade Stand re­serves spots Ln KHDYy-WUDI­fiF UDFHV VuFK DV the New York and Philadel­phia marathons and mem­bers of 7HDP /HPRn KDYH fiUVW DFFHVV WR re­served spots if they meet fundrais­ing goals, ac­cord­ing to Gillian Kocher, pub­lic re­la­tions for the foun­da­tion.

Mary Kel­ley, a mem­ber of TEAM USA in the 2005 and 2006 Short Course World Triathlon Cham­pi­onships, is even avail­able for train­ing, nu­tri­tion and other ad­vice for mem­bers of Team Le­mon.

To sign up for the Le­mon Run or Team Le­mon, visit alexsle­mon­ade.org.

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