Heroes for Children – a unique Richardson-based nonprofit that provides financial and social assistance to families with children who are battling cancer – is hosting the 12th Annual Heart of Gold 5K & Fun Run on Sept. 24, 2016. The event is held each year in September in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help raise funds and awareness for Texas children battling cancer. Heroes for Children is pleased to honor Brock Gumm and posthumouslyhonorBaylee Myers as the grand marshals for this year’s event.

The two grand marshals represent the hospitals that HFC serves in Dallas-Fort Worth. Brock Gumm represents Medical City Children’s and Baylee Myers represents Cook Children’s. HFC partners with social workers in these hospitals to find families who could benefit from financial and social help from HFC.

Brock was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma when he was 6 years old and has been fighting ever since. As a part of his diagnosis, he underwent limb salvage surgery to remove the tumor and the bone it was attached to. After surgery, Brock went through months of physical therapy and occupational therapy. He underwent chemotherapy until May 27, 2015, and was soon declared cancer free. A year later, he relapsed and underwent surgery to have his arm amputated and four swollen lymph nodes removed. Brock has completed chemotherapy and is undergoing scans every three months, but there doesn't seem to be any cancer anywhere else in his body.

“Brock’s diagnosis has affected our life in so many ways. It's made us stronger in our faith and has taught us to live in the moment and cherish everything,” says Paige Gumm. “We don't know what tomorrow holds, but no one does. The hardest part for me is seeing my son go through everything he has been through and still be strong and brave and fight on. He is my hero!”

After Brock’s relapse, HFC was able to lift a huge burden off of the Gumm family by providing financial assistance. The family was able to focus on being there for Brock as he battles cancer.

At age 3, Baylee was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, which spread to all of her long bones, including four bone lesions, and 100 percent Neuroblastoma in her bone marrow, causing a lot of pain that limited her ability to walk.  She bravely underwent five rounds of chemotherapy and successfully completed two stem cell transplants. After the second transplant, Baylee contracted rhino virus which infected her lungs. She bravely fought the virus for three weeks before passing away on September 13, 2016.

“Heroes for Children made a huge difference. Baylee’s diagnosis has impacted the entire family – both physically and emotionally,” Stephanie Myers says. “Heroes for Children helped us on two different occasions when we weren’t sure how we were going to pay our mortgage.”

Heroes for Children understands how isolating a cancer diagnosis can feel for the entire family. It is the vision of the organization that no family with a child battling cancer will fight alone.

The Heart of Gold 5K & Fun Run will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, at The Plaza at Galatyn Park in Richardson, Texas. The event begins with the annual commemorative balloon release led by co-founders Jenny and Larissa, followed by the Family Fun Run and 5K. There will be a live DJ and kid's Adventure Zone with games, rock climbing wall, activities, bounce houses and a special area to honor and remember children who have been affected by cancer. The event also includes fantastic prizes, awards, giveaways, food and more. Register at https://thedriven.net/heroes5k.

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