Chelsea Farmer has participated in the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series before, but this year her reason for signing up was a little more personal.
“In November our daughter Nora got a little bit sick and her pediatrician discovered a heart murmur,” Chelsea said. “We took her to see a cardiologist at Akron Children’s and found out that she had a hole in her heart.”
Surgery was scheduled for the next month, but then, a week before her surgery, Nora became really sick and was hospitalized for 5-6 days.
“It was a really scary time, but it was amazing the way everyone took care of Nora,” Chelsea said. “They treated her like their own child and always kept us informed of what was happening.”
Nora was able to undergo surgery, which was a success, and returned home a couple days after.
“We had expected to spend her first Christmas in the hospital,” Chelsea said. “But the team at Akron Children’s was so amazing, especially Dr. (Robert) Stewart and Dr. (Michael) Spector, that we were able to be home a couple days before.”
Now Nora doesn’t have to return for a check-up for a year, and Chelsea wanted to find a way to give back to the hospital. As a runner for more than 20 years, fundraising as a Children’s Champion was a perfect fit for her.
Chelsea will be running the half marathon at the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay and raising money while she trains for the Blue Line.
“We unfortunately were put in the position where we spent a lot of time at the hospital, but we’re really fortunate to have a really great hospital so close,” Chelsea said. “I just wanted to give back and let people know how well Akron Children’s is treating their patients and the families.”
Chelsea said she hopes more people fundraise as Children’s Champions because if they saw the difference they were making for families like hers, she feels it would change their perspective.
“Nora is almost 10 months old now, and she’s thriving. You would never know that she had a heart problem, it’s incredible,” Chelsea said. “We’re definitely fortunate.”
You can donate to Chelsea’s fundraising efforts here, and if you’re running the Blue Line this September and would like more information on the Children’s Champion program, you can reach out to Nicci Avalon at firstname.lastname@example.org.