Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times
One man began his cross-country trek to raise awareness and funding for cancer in Dana Point on Monday, July 6.
Peter Halper, 52, of Wisconsin is running coast-to-coast, from California to Delaware over the next several months on behalf of Emery’s Memory Foundation—a Missouri-based non-profit raising awareness and funds to fight Neuroblastoma cancer in children.
Halper is starting his more than 3,000-mile journey aiming to end his first full week of running in Amboy by July 11. He is running an average of 28 miles every day taking only Sundays for rest. His goal is to complete the 19-week run in Delaware by mid-November and to raise awareness and funds along the way.
“Emery, of Emery’s Memory Foundation, was my grandniece and when she passed at only 3-years-old, I was impacted by her story and I knew this was something I wanted to do,” says Halper. “I want to help bring awareness to this disease by sharing the stories of these children and families and ultimately to raise funds to continue the search for a cure.”
Emery’s Memory Foundation hopes to raise $200,000 by mid-November. The funds raised provide family-assistance and care packages for those currently in treatment for Neuroblastoma, and fund research trials through an organization called BeatNB, that currently runs trials in more than 50 hospitals nationwide. In order to maximize donations, many elements such as the truck and camper Halper is hauling with him, were donated, or are being provided by volunteers and families of other children affected by Neuroblastoma.
“Our organization has grown into a vast network of parents who are all fighting the same fight,” said Jenna Smith, Executive Director of Emery’s Memory Foundation, and mother to Emery.
Currently, there is no cure for Neuroblastoma. It is the most common form of cancer in infants and of those fortunate enough to reach remission, nearly 50% experience relapse. There are over 650 new cases of neuroblastoma diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and over half of those cases will target children under the age of two.
“Every day we have new parents reach out to us because their child is newly diagnosed, or they are in the trials that we’re helping to fund, or they are just lost and need to talk to other parents who have been through this horrible experience – and that’s what we help with,” said Smith.
More information about the run, including the detailed route and the children that each week or mile are dedicated to can be found here. People can also donate online or text “EMERY” to 44321 to donate using a mobile device.