10th Annual Passion for Life charity run next Saturday in Walled Lake
Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in next weekend’s Passion for Life 5k Run/Walk and 5 Mile Run in downtown Walled Lake.
This year’s inspirational family is the McEwen family. Thirteen-year-old Elana McEwen has a rare, incurable, life-threatening disease called Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD), a genetic disorder that causes defects in the cilia lining of the respiratory tract. The defect causes mucus to accumulate, causing blockage and chronic infections in the lungs, sinuses and ears. The chronic lung infections cause scarring of the lung tissue, leading to permanent damage. PCD also affects the reproductive system.
Less than 500 people have been diagnosed with PCD, but many more are thought to be misdiagnosed.
Before her final diagnosis, Elana lived in and out of hospitals for the first four years of her life. She saw over 20 different doctors across three states before her condition was narrowed down. Her battle with PCD will be lifelong. As of today, she has been hospitalized over 70 times and had 38 surgeries. Most recently, she was hospitalized for 26 days due to complications from pneumonia.
Elana’s daily regimen consists of 3-4 breathing treatments. She is also administered an assortment of antibiotics and steroids to fight infections, which take over an hour to administer.
According to Passion for Life, “Despite everything Elana has been through, and continues to go through, she is always happy. She is known at school as ‘the girl who is always smiling.’ She has a positive attitude and perseveres through the many situations even though she’s not feeling well … Despite needing so much care herself, Elana always takes time when she is hospitalized to cheer up other, younger patients who are having a rough time. She also spends time helping support other charities, as well as the PCD Foundation.”
Supporting local families
The Passion for Life 5k Run/Walk and 5 Mile Run benefits U of M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and past inspirational families.
Nebojsa Stojkovic, a Walled Lake Central High School math teacher and track coach, founded the organization in 2008. Since its inception, the walk/run has raised money for children with heart defects, muscular dystrophy, rare forms of cancer, and much more.
This year’s Passion for Life will be held Saturday, March 25 at 10 a.m. in front of Bayside Bar & Grill in Walled Lake. Sponsors of this year’s event include: Financial Architects, Inc.; Dr. Jamie Hafke & Associates; Pontiac Trail Pharmacy; Berkman Shapiro Orthodontics; Complete Comfort Heat, Cooling & Plumbing; and Kristin Faber Allstate.
The Passion for Life 5k event is both a run and walk. Participants can compete for time or leisure. Strollers, wagons and dogs are also welcome. The 5-mile event is only a run and participants can compete for time.
Online registration closes March 23 at 5 p.m. Pre-registration prices are $30 for adults and $15 for children (12 and under.) Race day registration, which begins at 7 a.m., is $35 for adults and $20 for children.
For more information or to register online, visit www.passion-for-life.org.