LIMA — Those looking for a refreshing springtime can sign up for a 5K that goes toward a great cause.
The Emma’s Rainbow Run on Saturday is to benefit Emma Wenzlick, a 10-year-old Ottoville girl who suffered from a rare autoimmune disease called juvenile dermatomyositis. The disease causes severe muscle pain in her neck and back due to long-term flare-ups.
“She sees several specialists, the main one is in Columbus, a rheumatologist,” said Jill Wenzlick, Emma’s mother. “We usually go down every three weeks or so. She has to have a lot of testing and blood work every month, and she’s on a lot of different medications. We had to get a wheelchair for her because she can’t walk very far distances. So the run is going to help offset those costs.”
About 80 participants have signed up for the run so far. There will also be a silent auction and raffle, a bake sale and 50/50 drawing held the morning of the race. Hamburgers and hot dogs will also be available to purchase.
The 5K race begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ottoville Park; a half-mile fun run/walk begins at 11 a.m. Registration for the 5K costs $25 with no guarantee of a T-shirt; the half-mile fun run costs $10 with no guarantee of a T-shirt. Preregistration ended Friday.
Wenzlick said she is hoping the fundraiser will help Emma, and said she remains positive despite her illness.
“She always has a smile on her face, even if she’s in pain,” Wenzlick said. “She misses her friends. She can only go to school for about two hours a day, and she then gets really tired. So she uses her wheelchair sometimes, but she doesn’t get to go to on a lot of play dates or parties, and she misses that.”
For information or to download an entry form, go to http://www.emmasrainbowrun.com.