Runners fill the streets of Downtown Syracuse for a good cause. The 16th annual Paige's Butterfly Run is in the books, raising money for pediatric cancer research and programs. It began as a way to honor a little girl who lost her battle with leukemia. But as our Iris St. Meran explains, it's quickly grown into a way to help other children and their families dealing with this disease.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Many races are happening in our area this time of year. Some runners do it to test their physical endurance, while others have a purpose and person in mind.
"Support the Kara Krew. I had a friend pass away in high school that had cancer. So, three years running now there's a big group of us that have these shirts on, so I'm sure you'll see us out on the course," said Travis Oot.
The course is a 5K for the 16th Annual Paige's Butterfly run. It's named for Paige Yeomans Arnold who died from Leukemia when she was 8 years old in 1994. Her father, who's race director, says part of her legacy is in the race, but also the butterfly.
Chris Arnold said, "They look fragile, but they're also really strong. Butterflies when you think about it, monarch butterflies fly from Canada to Mexico each year. So that's the kind of creature Paige was: beautiful, perhaps fragile-looking but very strong."
To help other families stay strong, the proceeds from this race go to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. To date, more than one-point-two-million dollars has been raised.
Many people think of Paige on this day and they also have their friends and family members in mind.
"We all remember in our own way. I guess a way we can do it together is by running in this race and a bunch of our friends are here too,” said Andrew Kirkpatrick.
While they rely on each other for support, Chris Arnold offered some encouragement for families in the same fight he was in nearly 20 years ago.
"Have some faith. Do everything you can,” Arnold said, “You can't do more than that."
To learn more about this event or to help out, visit www.paigesbutterflyrun.org