2012 Paige’s Butterfly Run raises $220,000 to fight childhood cancer

For 16 years, Chris Arnold and Ellen Yeomans have served as champions in the fight against childhood cancer, raising more than $1.5 million to support cancer research and cancer care at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.

They’ve now added an additional $220,000 to that amount—money raised through the 2012 Paige’s Butterfly Run. The annual run is named for their late daughter, Paige, who received care at Upstate’s Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Arnold, Yeomans and their committee presented the check for $220,000 to children’s hospital staff Dec. 31 during a celebration to mark the success of the 2012 run. Included in that celebration were pediatric patients who were treated to butterfly-topped cake and cupcakes, courtesy of Walmart.

“This celebration has become an annual event for us and the children look forward to the fun that it generates,” said Toni Gary, director of Community Relations at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.  “To say anything less than that Chris and Ellen have significantly and positively impacted the lives of our children with cancer, their families, and the efforts of our medical, nursing, healthcare and cancer research staff, would be an understatement.”

Throughout the years, contributions from Paige’s Butterfly Run and related activities have been used for a wide range of Upstate initiatives. These initiatives support pediatric cancer care, cancer research, and the families, themselves, who are faced with the many challenges presented by a diagnosis of childhood cancer.

Some of the initiatives to benefit from this year’s gift include:

• The Paige’s Cancer Research Fund at Upstate

• Paige’s Family Assistance Fund. This fund helps families at the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders who are having financial difficulties as a result of their child’s illness. The fund is also used for:

-       general assistance, including burial costs and a grief counseling program;

-       sand therapy equipment and materials;

-       equipment for hemophilia patients;

-       Upstate’s Survival Wellness Clinic, which includes assistance to uninsured patients and for education of local and outlying physicians and other medical providers;

-       Neuropsychological testing for children with cancer;

-       a backpack comfort kit for newly diagnosed patients and their families. The kit will include items such as toiletries, gift cards for food and gas; and

-       patient parking assistance.

• Paige Yeomans Arnold Memorial Endowment Fund. A portion of this permanent endowment, established with the Foundation for Upstate, will be used in the future to fund research and to provide financial assistance to families having difficulties due to their child’s illness.

Paige’s Family Fun Fund. This fund provide the child life specialists at the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders with a variety of funds to cover family needs, such as meals, and birthday/holiday celebrations.

• Support for Upstate’s new pediatric cancer outpatient clinic, to open in 2014.

The 2013 Paige’s Butterfly Run is set for Saturday, June 8, with the Run and Walk starting and finishing behind the Federal Building on Franklin St. in downtown Syracuse. The run is held during the Syracuse’s annual Taste of Syracuse festival. For more information, visit Paige’s Butterfly Run.

Caption: From left, Ellen Yeomans, Chris Arnold present Thomas Welch, MD, professor and chair of Pediatrics and medical director of Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, with a $220,000 check to benefit cancer care at the children’s hospital.  The money was raised from Paige’s Butterfly Run, a local race honoring Paige Yeomans Arnold.

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