Back in 2014, a young fourth-grader at Homestead Elementary School was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. Maddy “Strong” Brandl battled fiercely through the 5th grade, and passed away in April, 2016 at only 11 years old. The Run for Maddy began in November 2015, when Maddy’s family was overwhelmed by the financial burden of medical expenses. Her school and the community came together to host a race as a fundraiser for her family, and Maddy ran and walked the course that day back in 2015. The race continues on every year to help other local families suffering from similar financial medical difficulties.
Before Maddy passed away, her mother remembered a period of several days where her “infectious smile” had gone unseen. It was a noticeably difficult time for Maddy, so her mother told her of how the race would continue every year to help local children and their families through their struggles. For the first time in days, Maddy broke into a radiant smile. Her wish was to give back to other families in need, in the same way they had done for her. The race, now called Maddy’s Run, is held in her honor to fulfill her wish and to help local families in need.
This year’s race will be held on Saturday, November 4th at Eagle River High School. The 0.7K and 2.5K Fun Run races start at 11:00 a.m., and the 5K Timed Run begins at 12:00 p.m. Registration can be completed online at https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/?raceId=26155#register or in person during bib pickup on November 4th. Bibs can be picked up on Thursday, November 2nd at Eagle River High School from 5:00-6:30 p.m., or on the day of the race (early arrival requested). The 0.7K Fun Run is $10, the 2.5K Fun Run is $15, and the 5K timed race is $25. A Virtual Race donation is also available at $20 in support of Maddy’s Run.
This year’s donations will benefit 4-year-old Zakk Peryea from Fairbanks, who is currently suffering from leukemia, and 7-year-old Jazee’ Holloway from Anchorage, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called Pineoblastoma. Little Zakk has undergone two years of chemotherapy since his diagnosis back in 2015, while Jazee’ and her family have relocated to Seattle for further treatment.
Last year’s race alone raised over $17,000 for three local children and their families. Starting the day by running a race and donating money for a good cause can make a world of difference for the families of Zakk Peryea and Jazee’ Holloway. Maddy’s Run continues because it brings the community together to make such a change. Maddy “Strong” Brendyl is remembered through good and impactful differences, which can be made one racer at a time. For more information, go to: