At 10 a.m. on September 21, 2013, Anne Licker’s dream of hosting a 5K run/walk to benefit pheo/para came true. Almost 200 people, ranging in age from 8-80 years old, signed up to race in Orchard Park, N.Y. Anne’s nephew Drew (SDHB+) was the youngest runner and her mom (SDHB+) was the oldest. “My mom beat many people half her age. She is such an inspiration!” Anne said.
However, the real inspiration is Anne. She began planning a similar event in 2012 and ran into some roadblocks. One was getting insurance for the event. She ultimately had to surrender the 2012 race idea, but she never gave up. Anne has always been a leader in the fight against pheo/para, and her goal has always been to spread awareness. When asked what gave her inspiration, she said, “The loss of my brother and seeing two of my sons deal with this disease. I know when any of us visit a doctor — it’s a repeatable story with pheo/para patients — the doctors (are uninformed) and some doctors may take on a patient and guess their way through treatment.” Anne has 15 family members with the SDHB mutation and has many friends in the pheo community. She doesn’t want to lose another one of them to this disease.
To realize her dream, Anne started participating in other 5K events and observing what was involved in making them successful. During one of these events, she met a group called Eclipse Multi Sport, and a meeting was set up for a few weeks later with Anne and her sister-in-law, Meghan. The inaugural Pheo Para 5K was born.
Eclipse Multi Sport took care of everything race related: course layout, insurance, registration, permits, etc. This allowed Anne and her team to focus on the rest of the event: donations, sponsors, after party, etc. The result was a phenomenal event!
On September 21, the day before Anne’s brother would have turned 60 (he died at age 32), pheo/para patients, friends, and supporters ran a course around Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, in the pouring rain. “I can only say it was AWESOME!” Anne declared. The event collected over $10,000! “Although it rained and our numbers were below what we had hoped for, it was such a fun family event. Everyone was talking about the fun they had and cannot wait until next year!”
Congratulations to Anne and the Licker family for hosting such a successful event!!! Anyone looking to host a similar fundraising event in their hometown can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get started.