For the second year, Harlem residents will walk city streets to help sick children by raising funds for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The second annual St. Jude Children's Hospital Miracle Mile Walkathon will begin at 9 a.m. at the Oliver Hardy Museum on Louisville Street.
Kathy Ham, the event coordinator, said last year's inaugural walk attracted nearly 30 walkers and raised just over $1,500 for the pediatric and treatment facility in Memphis, Tenn.
Ham said the walk originally was organized in honor of Paige Holbrook, a Harlem teen who was treated at St. Jude after she was diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma in 1999. Holbrook's cancer is in remission.
"The thought of her, of me knowing what she has been through," Ham said as to why the city decided to support the hospital.
Ham said this year's goal is to raise $2,000 for the hospital.
The hospital was started by singer, actor and television show producer Danny Thomas in 1962. It welcomes referrals of children and adolescents with newly diagnosed, untreated or suspected cancer or hematologic, immunologic or genetic diseases.
The hospital, which operates on more than $1 million a day, treats 180 patients a day and has patients from throughout the country and 70 countries, said Dot Xiques, a senior program supervisor.
The hospital accepts insurance from patients, but no family is asked to pay for any treatment, or even for travel expenses, food or lodging, Xiques said.
Ham expects about 30 people to gather donations or per-mile pledges for the walk this year.
The route begins at the museum and continues on Trippe Street to West Boundary, then to West Forrest Street and back to City Hall.
There is no charge for the event and no registration is needed, but donation forms can be picked up from the museum. Anyone raising more than $35 gets a T-shirt, Ham said.
Xiques said about 2,100 Miracle Mile walks will be held nationwide before July. Each raises an average of $800, she said. Other fundraisers, such as bikeathons and Mmthathons, also will raise funds for the hospital.
IF YOU WANT TO GO
What: Harlem's St. Jude Children's Hospital Miracle Mile Walkathon
When: 9 a.m., Saturday
Where: Oliver Hardy Museum on Louisville Street in Harlem
Why: To benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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