On the crisp, chilly morning of Saturday, April 16th, hundreds of people gathered for one purpose: to remember, honor, and support our pediatric cancer patients, their families and caregivers, their doctors and nurses, and all the kind people who help support Friends of Kids with Cancer at the 22nd Annual Walk with a Friend.
Excitement blew through the windy lakefront of Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park as families and businesses came together for popcorn, snow cones, bounce houses, and games. Kids skipped and played with painted faces as the adults assembled to either walk the 1-mile or run the 5K.
Runners lined up, took their marks, got set, and zoomed down the path, dressed in their Walk with a Friend blue athletic tees. Kids, adults, and even Spider-Man were seen running to make good time back to the St. Louis Track Club Finish Line.
Families and businesses then gathered to start the 1-mile walk. While some excitement still permeated, there was a distinct calm as families held hands, held signs, and held honor and remembrance of their loved ones.
Many families walk in memory of children and loved ones who are no longer with us. Other families honor the struggles that come with a cancer diagnosis. All who walk celebrated the lives of children and adults alike who are affected by cancer. Honoring the strength, courage, love, and care that can only come from the personal and collective struggle of these special kids and families.
After the run and walk, guests enjoyed music by 106.5 The Arch and local radio host Donny Fandango. New to the event this year were local vendors selling wares, food, and showing off their businesses. Free breakfast items like coffee, fruit, and very popular muffins were available, thanks to some wonderful donors.
By the end of the morning, guests were feeling warm with comradery and the sun as winners of the 5K were announced. With the feeling of reverence from their connections to one another and pride for helping raise funds and awareness for Friends, folks folded up their chairs and re-filled their wagons to continue their beautiful Saturday.
Photos by Amanda Sahaida
Find her on Facebook & Instagram: @amandasahaida