Charity run raises money for UNC Children’s Hospital
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - One family who lost their baby to a brain tumor is working to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
Kimberly Batten and her husband Brian lost their son Liam when he was six months old. Liam had a brain tumor and received treatment at UNC Children’s Hospital.
In her son Liam’s honor, Batten organized the fifth annual Liam Strong Charity Beach Run. The race was held on Saturday with over 400 participants.
The event raises money for UNC Children’s Hospital. All of the money will be given back to the hospital and help support families who have a child with cancer.
Liam stayed in the hospital for three months while receiving chemotherapy. While in the hospital, Kimberly Batten said that doctors and nurses turned into friends and family.
“The hospital was great. I mean we were there 24/7. I would spend the days in the hospital. My husband would sleep nights, the staff knew us all by name. You know they were helping us with everything,” said Batten.
Every year, people gather at Wrightsville beach to run for Liam, who was born on Sept. 21, and shine a light on childhood cancer awareness month.
“It never ceases to amaze me. How many people come out and how much community support we have friends, family from all over. Even like the doctors that worked with Liam at UNC, some of the nurses come down it just like, it makes it all all the hard work worth it,” said Batten.
Batten said it’s a family affair, people of all ages are able to participate in the one mile or the 5k. Batten said her two other children inspire her to continue with the race every year.
“It’s really what makes me do the race over and over as well because they love it so much. My daughter was four when Liam passed away and she loves this race,” said Batten.
Charlotte Batten is Liam’s older sister, she does her own raffle to raise money for UNC Children’s Hospital.
“It gives me a feel that I can do something to feel connected to him to show him that I care for him and love him still,” said Charlotte.
Batten also gave a piece of advice for families who have a child with cancer.
“You will come out on the other side. It’s, I can’t even explain the pain that I know they’re going through but you will get through it and you could be like us and turn tragedy into something positive,” said Batten
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