(Posted May 9, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
For the past 10 years, the Stout family has participated in Rockin’ on the Run, a fundraiser benefiting pediatric brain tumor research and awareness.
They’ve walked or run in the 5K. They’ve helped with set-up, worked the registration table, and encouraged others to lend their support. They’ve done this because they know what other families are going through.
“Our son, Garrett, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor when he was two-and-a-half years old,” said Cindy Stout who lives in London with her husband, Tom. They also have a younger son, Cameron.
Doctors found the tumor after Garrett suffered a grand mal seizure. The Grade II astrocytoma is diffused through his optic nerve. Full removal of the tumor would cost him his eyesight, so part of the tumor has been removed.
“He’s had two brain surgeries, one when he was diagnosed and another when he was 15 because they had newer technology. With the second surgery, they were able to go in and get more of the tumor,” Cindy said.
At the time of Garrett’s diagnosis, the prognosis was 50/50 as to whether the tumor would grow and end up taking his life. Since then, modern medicine has provided potential options, including proton therapy if the tumor grows.
Garrett, now 27, sees a neurologist and has MRIs done yearly to monitor the tumor. He takes anti-seizure medicine. And he is living life. The 2014 London High School graduate holds an English degree from Wittenberg University, recently moved to a small town outside of Detroit, Mich., works in sales, and is getting married at the end of the month.
“I say this a lot to other families going through this: Don’t think too far ahead, live life to the fullest, lots of prayer and positive thinking, and that’s how we move forward,” Stout said.
She added that she is grateful for efforts like Rockin’ on the Run that raise funds and awareness to move pediatric brain tumor research forward. She praised organizer Ashley Winebrenner and her team for their work.
“We have tremendous respect for Ashley. The money she and her team raises through Rockin’ on the Run all goes to pediatric brain tumor research. They do just a phenomenal job,” Stout said.
This year’s Rockin’ on the Run
The 14th Annual Rockin’ on the Run will take place from 8 a.m. to noon May 20 at St. Patrick School, 226 Elm St., London.
The run part of the fun includes a kids’ dash at 8:30 a.m. followed by a one-mile run/walk and a 5K run/walk at 9 a.m. Everyone who participates receives a t-shirt and medal. Visit Rockin’ on the Run to register. A virtual option is included.
Family-friendly activities are planned throughout the morning, including caricaturists, a face painter, games, bounce houses, and treats including sno-cones and cotton candy. A 50/50 raffle and vendors also are part of the day.
Four brave souls have signed up to have pies thrown in their face. The cost is $1 per throw or $5 for six throws:
8:15-9:15 a.m.–Marcus Stone, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Patrick School and assistant football coach at London High School;
9:15-10:15 a.m.–Sgt. John Lisska from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office;
10:30-11:15 a.m.–London Mayor Pat Closser; and
11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.–Ellie Randall, a sixth-grade student at St. Patrick School and a life-long Rockin’ on the Run participant.
Additionally, a multitude of items will be up for bid in the school gym all morning. Among them are tickets to the Cincinnati Reds, Zoombezi Bay, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Snow Trails, Cedar Point, and an Indiana animal rescue where you can wash elephants. Visitors also can bid on everything from a power saw to a Cricut Explore Air 2.
Another way to participate is as a volunteer. Helpers are needed anytime between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tasks include registration, manning water stations on the race course, supervising the bounce house, passing out prizes at the duck pond, manning the silent auction tables to answer questions, sorting papers after the silent auction, and cleanup. To volunteer, send an email to email@example.com.