Stephanie Yi had her daughter granted a once in a lifetime Hawaiian wish for, then 10 year-old, daughter Sophie Yi back in 2013. She has never forgot the support her and her family received and now wants to pay it forward.
Inspired by recent children in the community battling life threatening illnesses, she has decided to run a marathon in their honor. Cale Smith and Aiden Kramer’s recent stories were reported by GCN. The two boys are Glendora kids that Yi has followed closely and continues to support, most recently participating in an Aiden’s Army blood drive. Although having never run a marathon before, she wanted to make it count for a greater cause.
“I wanted to run in honor of Cale and Aiden to help bring awareness to childhood cancers and to help me focus on my training,” Yi said.
The marathon will help raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. On its website, the hospital states that 70% of the funding comes from the public, so grassroots fundraisers like this are vital. Yi knows all too well what organizations like this mean to families in need.
“I wanted to make a difference. What better way than to run for St. Jude? St. Jude never charges families for treatment. Which is nice so they can focus on getting their babies well,” Yi added.
Although living in Glendora, she will be running the marathon in Duluth, Minnesota where they have other family. You can DONATE HERE to her St. Jude fundraising page. The marathon known as the Grandma’s Marathon, has been run in Duluth since 1977.
The race draws around 18,000 participants each year and was named after the original sponsor, the famous Grandma’s Restaurants.
Sophie Yi was granted her Hawaiian wish back in 2013 by the Make A Wish Foundation.
Sophie Yi, who was diagnosed with ataxia, a rare neurological disorder at age 2, broke down in tears of joy when she heard her wish had been granted and Stephanie Yi has always remembered what that meant to a parent, the tears of joy rather than the tears of pain and suffering. Below is a video of Sophie Yi’s 2013 surprise wish reveal surrounded by friends and family.