Gwinn teen battling medical issue runs benefit race

Good things happened in Marquette on Saturday with the running of the 2014 Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center’s Hope Starts Here Challenge

Let’s start with the event itself, a collaboration between Northern Michigan University and Marquette General Hospital.

Organizers tell us some $30,000 was raised. The money is used by the center at MGH to conduct research, offer patient advocacy programs and to offer specialized training for staff working with neurological patients, among other uses.

According to a front page story in Sunday’s Mining Journal, the day saw just over 600 participants take part in either the duathlon, half marathon, 10K, 5K or other leisure events.

Organizers had hoped for as many as 700 runners but thought the late spring may have impacted the number a bit.

A second story on page one Sunday detailed participation in the race by Makayla Mayo, the Gwinn teenager who is battling back from a grade 4 brain aneurysm suffered in 2013.

Makayla, 18, took part in the 5K event, and finished the race. As story author, Negaunee native and women’s running advocate Mel Charbonneau, observed, this was no ordinary finish line.

Co-founder of Fellow Flowers – an online women’s running community -Charbonneau quoted Makayla, “I felt great, and it was so amazing to cross that finish line.”

We join what we know is a vast number of people in supporting Makayla, and wish her the best in her continued recovery.

We also applaud NMU and MGH for staging the positive community event.


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