I am raising funds to honor my nephew, Chase Balay by supporting the Children's Brain Tumor Family Foundation. While I have run many marathons in the past, I have never run one for charity before. This will be the marathon closest to my heart.
Chase loved the color green, aliens, bikes, penguin hugs, his mom, dad, and his brother Ryder; he was an amazing artist, and a general funny guy.
Just after his 9th birthday in 2016, Chase was diagnosed with a terminal, pediatric brain tumor - Gliomatosis Cerebri. Chase spent the next several months undergoing brain biopsies, radiation, MRIs and other invasive, exhausting, medical procedures. Spending almost every day at the hospital for weeks. While trying to start 4th grade in September 2016, the treatments were not working and Chase started to lose many basic functions such as walking, speaking and swallowing. Seeing Chase, who should have been going to school, riding his bike, playing with friends, lose his executive brain functions was absolutely heartbreaking and devastating.
My sister -in-law, Julie never stopped battling, she constantly researched - seeking out new treatment options, and looking tirelessly for medical advances all over the world. Sadly, what she and thousands of other parents learn, is that there have been no new advances, no new treatments, no breakthroughs in pediatric brain cancer. The current treatments buy families a few months or weeks with their children and the final outcome remains the same... the death of a beautiful, young child, who just months before had their entire life ahead of them.
Chase pased away on April 30, 2017. Just about 15 months after diagnosis, 3 months after his 10th birthday.
The Balay family made the decision to donate Chase's brain and spine to Weill Cornell Medical Center, where they are tirelessly researching and making strides in curing pediatric brain tumors. Your dollars go directly to supporting Weill Cornell's research and Chase's legacy.
Our hope is that one day, Chase's cells will save the life of another child - please help make this happen and bring hope to children and families.