What's Happening: The Victorious 5K

Area runners are invited to bring in the month of June at the 6th Annual Victorious 5K Run/Walk in Gibbsboro, N.J.

The Victorious 5K is held in honor of Alicia Rose DiNatale, who passed away back in 2002 at the age of 17. Alicia was a victim of adenocarcinoma, a rare form of cancer in children.

The run is scheduled for June 1, starting at 7:30 a.m. The event takes place at Lakeside Manor, located at 10 Foster Avenue, Gibbsboro, N.J.

The final year of Alicia’s life was spent in and out of the hospital as she underwent tests and chemotherapy while battling multiple infections. During that time, Alicia observed that kids undergoing treatment had few options for keeping themselves entertained while hospitalized. As a result, many counted away the hours in the solitude of their hospital rooms.

Following Alicia’s untimely passing, her parents Mario and Gisele founded the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation (ARVF), an organization dedicated to providing activities, programs and events to enhance quality of life for kids and teenagers with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Starting at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), ARVF has successfully partnered with almost 100 children’s hospitals in 37 states throughout the country, opening and funding 60 teen lounges in different facilities.

A typical Teen Lounge features board games, computers, big-screen TVs, pool tables and other amenities designed to foster socialization and provide a fun outlet from the rigors of treatment. ARVF has also funded large-scale events ranging from in-hospital pizza parties to Prom Nights. Countless children have received “Teen Kits”, bags filled with over a dozen items designed to entertain the patient during a hospital stay.

The 5K event starts bright and early on the first day of June, with an awards ceremony to follow at 11 a.m. Cost for the event is $25 for any adult age 19 and up, and only $15 for participants 18 and under. Runners are encouraged to form teams or solicit donations individually to help ARVF reach its fundraising goal of $30,000. Those who are unable to run on the day of the event can still help out by donating or volunteering at the race’s website.

“The annual Victorious 5K Run/Walk provides meaning and purpose to us, particularly since Alicia was on the Girls Track team at Eastern Regional H.S.,” said her mother Gisele. “She would have loved seeing people of all ages running or walking for hospitalized kids.”

For more information on the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation, visit www.arvf.org or call (856) 784-0615. 

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