WHEELING - A little boy surviving with leukemia and the family of a teenager who died of the disease are the beneficiaries of money raised by the Debbie Green Memorial 5K Run/Walk for Leukemia this year.
Dollars from the 2013 "race for a reason" will go to the family of Kade Haines of Brilliant and to the Davenport family of Neffs, who lost their daughter, Allyson Martin, earlier this year.
"We're thankful to be able to help these families out," said Ron Green, director of the race. "I've been fortunate to get to know the families."
Members of the Haines family of Brilliant and the Davenport family of Neffs are this year’s recipients of proceeds from the Debbie Green Memorial 5K Run/Walk for Leukemia. Michael Haines, from left, Alisha Haines and Kade Haines stand with Ron Green, director of the Debbie Green race events, along with Ben Davenport, Amy Davenport, Logan Davenport and Paige McGlothin.
Kade Haines, 3, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last July, according to his mother, Alisha Haines. The toddler is in remission and has no cancer cells present following treatment at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, she noted. But he must continue the treatments through 2015.
The money will be used to help the Haines family offset travel expenses incurred for treatments, as well as the cost of time lost on the job. Haines, a registered nurse, said she now works part-time for Cigna. Her husband, Michael Haines, is employed at McKesson Automation in Cranberry, Pa.
The Debbie Green Memorial 5K Run/Walk for Leukemia helps those suffering with leukemia and their families not just in a financial way, but in an emotional way as well, Alisha Haines said. "They are also bringing awareness to pediatric cancer - and that's huge."
Amy Davenport of Neffs spoke of her daughter, Allyson Martin, who died earlier this year of acute myeloid leukemia. Martin was diagnosed with the disease one day after her graduation from Bellaire High School in May 2012, and she died 306 days later on March 29, Davenport said.
The money that family receives will be used to pay the expenses remaining from Martin's funeral.
"At the age of 19, no one ever thinks to have a life insurance policy," Davenport said.
Martin received treatment at the James Cancer Center at Ohio State University in Columbus prior to her death. Davenport, who works as a secretary for First United Methodist Church in Bellaire, said she was off work 11 months to be with her daughter. Her husband, Ben, works at Silgan Plastics.
The family's motto is "live every day," Davenport said.
"We definitely agree with what Amy says," Alisha Haines said. "Take no one for granted."
Living with someone who has cancer "teaches you what matters," Michael Haines added.
"They could be gone in a heartbeat," he said.