Fourth Annual 5K-DEN Race Set For September 9
The fourth annual 5K-DEN event will be held at Campbell-Chapman Park on Saturday, Sept. 9, benefiting three area children as the event continues to memory for the late Kaden Keller, who passed away on Sept. 9, 2014, for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 7.
The event has continued to draw some 300 participants, charged by Benji and Danielle Koonce and mother of Kaden Keller, Liz Keller.
“The first year this event was held in Kaden’s honor, it was organized to help our family with medical expenses we were enduring with Kaden’s medical treatment during his third relapse from leukemia. We were going to have a bone marrow transplant and our insurance wasn’t going to cover the $60,000-$65,000 for the search, thus the event was held to help us,” said Keller. “Kaden did not make it to this point and we had received this money and wanted to help other families and continue Kaden's memory.”
The Kellers then turned to other children in need through their foundation and over the last three years, have been able to donate funds raised from the very first 5K-DEN and everyone after to help local children in need, provide a Kaden Keller Memorial Scholarship and provide funding for childhood cancer research. Over this time the event has raised more than $35,000 to help eight local children with medical expenses.
“We have nine gold sponsors this year for the event and that is up from three the previous year and we have two more I believe coming on board,” said Keller. “So this event is continuing to grow and help others in Kaden’s memory.”
This year the event will help:
13-year-old Caleb Janish, who has Cavernous Malformation (bleeding of the brain). Janish has dealt with this since the age of 7, along with abnormal blood vessels that cause brain tumors. Janish currently has three tumors he’s dealing with at this time;
19-month old Stella Craig, who was diagnosed with SCN8A, a genetic mutation that affects less than 50 known cases in the world. The mutation causes Craig to experience seizures and a number of other conditions requiring extensive medical treatment;
10-year-old Averi Budde, born with congenital heart defect, tetralogy of fallot, pulmonary atresia as well as a chromosome 19 deletion. She has had five open heart surgeries and countless procedures. She has been traveling to Texas for tests and surgery on Sept. 8 to remove some intestinal polyps that are a result of Peutz Jeghers Syndrome.
“We are very honored to be able to keep Kaden’s memory alive and help our community and the children in it,” said Keller. “It seems like every year there are children and families that are in need of support and we are very pleased again to be able to help them.”
Those interested in registering for the 5K Race or Fun Run may do so at 5Kden.itsyourrace.com. The cost is $25 to participate in the rase that includes a t-shit and timing chip or for the fun run the cost is $15 and includes a t-shirt.
If you would like to make a donation to the event please do so by contacting Liz Keller, 573-680-4099 or Benji/Danielle Koonce at firstname.lastname@example.org.