By the end of the day on April 10, Chad and Jayci Cosens look to be sore and weary from their goal of battling childhood leukemia “one mile at a time.”
And ideally, they’ll have more than $17,000 on hand to give to an area family in need.
The Cosenses are sponsoring “Hunter’s Run,” a fund raiser to benefit the family of 8-year-old Hunter Hawley of Fort Scott.
Hawley, son of Mike Hawley and Kim Simmons Durbin of Fort Scott, suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He also is Chad Cosens’ cousin.
Hawley, now a third-grader at Fort Scott’s Eugene Ware Elementary School, was diagnosed with the disease in March 2006, just three days after his fifth birthday.
While this form of leukemia is common for children and sports a 90-percent survival rate, his diagnosis had a devastating impact on Hunter’s family, Jayci Cosens said. Most of his treatments are covered by insurance, but there are other costs, such as time off work for his parents and travel expenses, and those have added up.
Hawley underwent nearly three years of treatments before being declared in remission last June.
The doctors’ good news didn’t last long. His cancer was spotted again four months later.
Hawley resumed chemo-therapy treatments at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., earlier this month, and will remain there another month and a half.
THAT’S WHERE Hunter’s Run comes in.
Chad and Jayci are seeking 26 people to run the St. Louis marathon with them April 10.
Ideally, those 26 runners will each find 26 people to donate $26 apiece. If that’s successful, the total raised will be $17,576.
Runners can participate
in the full marathon (26.2 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles), 10K (6.2 miles) or 5K (3.1 miles).
Cosens noted that while a team of runners will go to St. Louis, a local fun run will take place that morning in Fort Scott as well. That will be only a 5K fun run or walk, she said.
Hawley is the third member of his family to be diagnosed with cancer in the past five years. His grandmother, Bernie Simmons, was diagnosed with lymphoma, which now is in remission. An aunt recently succumbed to lung cancer.
As a sign of support for her grandson, Simmons is among those who will take part in the local walk in Fort Scott.
“As a family, we wanted to step up and do something positive that made us feel like we were making a difference, and exerting a little control over cancer,” Jayci Cosens said.
Jayci said she hopes to organize several training runs for any running enthusiasts willing to take part. They’ve also set up a Facebook page — Hunter’s Run — to share information about their endeavor.
Donations may be sent to Hunter’s Run, c/o Union State Bank, 1009 S. Clark St., Fort Scott, KS 66701. The Cosenses may be reached at (620) 224-2437.
Hunter also is the grandson of John Olson and Frances Hawley and Ron Hawley, all of Humboldt.
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