Lights for Love raises funds from chronically/terminally ill

posted in: Our Heroes | 0

LAPEER — Chilly gray skies wasn’t enough to dissuade more than 100 runners and walkers from participating in Hometown Heroes of Michigan’s first Lights for Love 5K Twilight Run/Walk at Rowden Park on Sunday.
“It’s for a good cause and there are not too many local races to support,” said Lapeer’s Cody Coulter, who crossed the finish line in 19 minutes, 27 seconds.
Mayfield Township’s Lori Davis, the first woman across the finish line, with a time of 21 minutes, nine seconds, echoed his sentiments. “I love to run and it’s for a super good cause.”
Race organizer, Leslie Castaneda, the volunteer coordinator at Hometown Home Health & Hospice, said they’re still totaling up the bills, but she thinks they raised somewhere between $9,000 and $10,000 for Hometown Heroes of Michigan, which provides durable medical goods to chronically or terminally ill patients who can afford them.
Castaneda knows how devastating a chronic disease can be. She suffers from Wegener’s granulomatosis, a rare type of inflammation of small arteries and veins that supply blood to the lungs, sinuses and kidneys.
Every 11 months she has to undergo a battery of four treatments that costs her insurance company $32,000 each and take a $2,500 bite out of her pocket.
Jonathan Lemaire, director of Hometown Heroes of Michigan, the non-profit arm of Naveet Anand’s Hometown Health & Hospice, said the group supplies durable medical equipment to people in need in 23 counties from warehouses in Lapeer and Flint.
“We always wish we could do more,” Castaneda said noting that care for the chronically and terminally ill is an area where people often turn a blind eye.
Lemaire said they decided to try and ease the burden of one family with a $2,500 award they could use any way they wish.
Castaneda they got more than 100 applications and the group initially picked the family of Wade Dunham, a Caro boy who was diagnosed with Stage IV Pleuropulmonary Blastoma just before his fourth birthday in December. The youngster’s family has been fighting what has proven to be a losing battle against the illness and last week he was admitted to hospice.
Castaneda said when the Dunham family was notified they’d been awarded Hometown Heroes’ $2,500 Gift of Love “they decided to pay it forward and give it back to someone else who needed it more than they did. The family was the beneficiary of a fundraiser that generated $32,000 for Wade’s continued care.
Hometown Heroes tuned to Lapeer’s Cathee Green whose 79-year-old father is terminally ill and suffering from Alzheimers. Castaneda said the Clarkston man is “being cared for by his wife who is struggling to care for him.”
Castaneda said anyone interested in joining in Hometown Heroes can reach her at 810-538-0281.


5k runners

5k Kevin Daly Cathi Green

IMG_1159Lights for Love