For one mom, running this marathon has extra meaning


Everyone has a reason to support Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

What is Liz’s reason? Here son, Ethan.

When Liz first noticed a small white spot under Ethan’s eye, she didn’t give it a second thought. Ethan was four years old and still growing; maybe it was a birthmark she and her husband didn’t notice before? But as time passed, the spot turned brown and others started noticing it too.

Concerned because the spot was not going away, Liz scheduled an appointment for Ethan at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He was diagnosed with pediatric scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease that could potentially affect his muscles and bones and could cause growth defects or deformities. Liz and her husband had a lot of questions, and thankfully the rheumatology team at Nationwide Children’s was prepared to give them more information, as well as guide them on a care protocol specially designed for Ethan.

Ethan at Nationwide Children's.

Completing 14 weeks of steroid treatments was hard for both Liz and Ethan. He began the treatments right before starting Kindergarten, which made helping him navigate the side effects of weight gain, emotional outbursts and atypical behavior even harder while he was adjusting to a new school, new routine and meeting new friends. He will continue to receive weekly injections for the next few years. Liz accompanies him to these shots, and knowing how nervous he gets about them, she’s awed by his ongoing bravery.

“We do not know what the future holds for Ethan and his diagnosis, but we do feel hopeful that he is in the hands of the best possible medical professionals for his condition,” says Liz. “We are so grateful for this hospital being in our backyard and that it serves as a place of comfort for Ethan as he receives treatment.”

Liz knows that it is important to show Ethan what it is like to conquer hard things. In 2021 she showed her strength and determination by running the half marathon in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. This year? She is training for all 26.2 miles.

And like last year, she is once again making every step of her training meaningful by fundraising as a Children’s Champion. She is raising money to make sure patients, like Ethan, get the important care they need. Every child should have a bright and healthy future, so our Children’s Champions are fundraising to help Nationwide Children’s find cures, save lives and create best outcomes for kids here and around the world.

Liz will be one of many Children's Champions at this year's race.

Are you ready to join Liz as a Children’s Champion? You will earn special race day perks and swag as you reach new fundraising milestones. Plus, you can choose the impact you want to make! Liz is raising money to support Ethan’s care teams – and you can designate the funds you raise to support any area of ​​the hospital. Learn more about the Children’s Champions program and register to start making a difference.

Click here to register today.

Liz has one more special incentive for the race this year. Ethan is a Marathon Mile Champion.

Each year, 24 patients treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are selected to line each mile of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. Called Marathon Mile Champions, they and their families cheer on the athletes and serve as a visual reminder of how the race helps to support life-saving care and research. There is also an Angel Mile to honor children who are no longer with us, as well as an Encore Mile that welcomes back our Marathon Mile Champions who have lined the course in previous years. Together, all these Marathon Mile Champions represent the more than 1.5 million patients who visit Nationwide Children’s every year.

Liz and co.  at last year's Marathon.

You can be a Champion for hope. Give hope to our patients by supporting our Children’s Champions. When you make a donation, you’ll help Nationwide Children’s continue to provide important, lifesaving care to every child that comes to us, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

Click here to donate today.

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