Chad Carr has always had a national audience.
The members of his family tree are well known, from his grandfathers to his parents, which is why his DIPG diagnosis in November of 2014 hit so hard and stretched so far. The Carr family has friends, former colleagues, and connections all across the country.
On Saturday we learned how much that network has grown.
The 3rd Annual RunTough for ChadTough event included a virtual race this year, allowing anyone to participate. Supporters were sent official race t-shirts and bibs to wear while running or walking in their own neighborhoods, raising awareness in the process.
More than 500 people signed up to be virtual runners this year with at least one from every state. This is a huge accomplishment, but nothing could have prepared the foundation for the powerful responses that poured in during and after Saturday’s race.
Photo after photo accompanied by stories and supporting statements revealed how far the ChadTough message has traveled.
One of the most powerful photos received today came from Germany. Inga writes, “My Little daughter Milli passed away on 1st of Octobre 2015 from DIPG.”
The photo shows her husband, Micha, Milli’s sister Selmi, their good friend, Katharina, her daughter Marlene, and another good friend, Katja. They were ready to run, wearing their RunTough shirts, but each person was also holding a photo of Milli.
Sarah and her son, Nic, participated in the virtual race from Florida. Sarah’s niece, Sophie, passed away from DIPG in 2007. They took a photo with their RunTough shirt draped over a “Hope to Cure Childhood Cancer” sign in their front yard.
“I am originally from MI and also lost a niece, Sophie Quayle, (www.sfsf.org) to DIPG,” said Sarah. “My mom, Susie Miklaski, and my sister, Emily Quayle (Sophie’s mom) were in Saline this morning to run as well. Anything and everything we can do to raise awareness and money, we’re there!!!”
Chad’s message has been powerful to other grieving families, but it’s also inspired individuals who had no previous ties to DIPG. So many people headed out to walk or run on Saturday simply because they have been moved by Chad’s story.
“The weather couldn’t have been more perfect in Nottingham, MD for the #chadtough virtual run,” wrote Dorothy. “My pace was 9:35 per (mile), which I was pleased with. I prayed to Chad during the run and thought of his family. A big thank you to Chad’s family for making this possible from other states.”
Dorothy wasn’t the only person to thank the foundation for opening up the event to remote supporters. One North Carolina family was thrilled to participate and spread awareness.
“It may have just been a quick run around the neighborhood but we are a family proud to support Chad, the Carr Family, and DIPG research!”
You Can Still Run!
The ChadTough Foundation has been so inspired by each and every photo, but so have other supporters. Numerous followers of ChadTough have expressed a desire to participate in the virtual race.
Good news – registration will remain open until Friday, September 30! Anyone who registers will receive an official race shirt and can submit their photos to be posted on Facebook!
You can register for the virtual run at chadtough.org/run. Thank you for being ChadTough!