What's Happening: Jeremy's Jedi 5K for childhood cancer research

Next Friday, May 30, the Jeremy P. Wilson Foundation will host the 4th annual Jeremy’s Jedi 5K Run/Walk to benefit childhood cancer research, providing children with better treatment options and offering hope for a cure.

The event takes place at Great Valley High School in Malvern at 6 p.m.

The Jeremy P. Wilson Foundation was started in memory of its namesake, who was diagnosed with undifferentiated sarcoma of the liver at age 10. Despite his valiant fight, Jeremy Wilson lost his battle on October 5, 2008.

Ultimately, Jeremy passed away in part due to the limited treatment options for his particular condition, which is why one of the Foundation’s first acts was to present a check for $20,000 to the Nemour Center for Childhood Cancer Research at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. 

"The goal of our foundation is to celebrate Jeremy's love of life by giving back to A.I. duPont, to honor his love of learning by enabling other students to pursue higher education and to continue his spirit of philanthropy through the annual Jeremy's Jedi 5K and other fundraising events," says Karen Wilson, Jeremy's mother.

The Race

Those wishing to sign up for Jeremy’s Jedi 5K can do so at http://www.jeremysjedi.org/Jeremys_Jedi/Home.html

Online registration is open until May 27, and costs $30 for all runners and walkers. Walk-up registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at Great Valley High on the day of the event.

At 6 p.m., the race kicks off with an opening ceremony, followed by a Kids Fun Run. The main event, the 5K, begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. from a starting line right in front of a red bench (Jeremy’s favorite color) donated by the Wilson family. The bench is located in front of the Great Valley Middle School—located adjacent to the high school. The course will take runners around a loop through a Malvern neighborhood before returning to campus. Competitors will enter the football stadium and complete one loop of the school’s track to conclude the race.

Refreshments provided by local restaurants will be available to competitors, spectators and volunteers. A silent auction of items donated by several local merchants will follow the run.

Jeremy and the Foundation

Jeremy Wilson was born as the only boy in a set of triplets. He enjoyed school, Star Wars (hence the name of the event), playing the cello, and was proudest of being a Boy Scout. Jeremy was very dedicated to fundraising for his school, church and community.

"Jeremy had a great love for learning," says Karen. "When he had a day off from school, he was disappointed. In fact, when he became sick one of his greatest disappointments was that his disease prevented him from attending school."

To celebrate Jeremy’s courage and positive attitude, the Jeremy P. Wilson Foundation has awarded annual scholarships to graduating Great Valley seniors whose childhood has been affected—whether directly or through a parent or sibling—by a cancer diagnosis.

"We awarded two scholarships this year to students who both lost parents to cancer in early childhood," says Karen Wilson. "Despite these losses, both students have persevered and will be attending college in the fall."

The recipients for 2014 are Chris Sullivan, who will attend the University of Richmond, and Hope Corry, who will be attending the University of Pittsburgh.

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