The fifth annual Mitchell Thorp Foundation (MTF) “Hearts for Hope” 5K
Run/Walk that will benefit families, whose children suffer from
life-threatening illnesses, diseases and disorders will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 9 a.m. at
Poinsettia Park, Thorp Field in Carlsbad.
The event directly supports families throughout Southern California to
endure and soften their heartbreaking journey.
The Juarez family is just one of the MTF families that they help with applications coming in monthly. Two-year-old Ethan Juarez was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS0 and Esophageal Atresia/Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula (TEF-EA). He was only six hours old when he underwent his first surgery to attach his stomach and esophagus and had his first open heart surgery at age one month. In August 2012, at eight months old, Ethan had his second open heart surgery. He has had many health issues, since these surgeries, including gaining weight and overall growth. He is in and out of the hospital often and most minor colds require him to be on oxygen at home or to go to the hospital. Ethan will eventually need to have an additional heart procedure when he turns three this year.
“Our son’s health issues have been overwhelming at times,” said his mother, Renee McGuire-Juarez, who lives in Oceanside. “I had to leave my job of 11 years, so I can take care of him and to be available for hospitalizations. I just want my little boy to be okay.”
Father, Michael Juarez, has been the sole family provider, since Renee left her job, but medical costs have been daunting, so the family applied to the MTF, seeking support, when their medical coverage could not meet the financial hardship they must now endure.
“We are so grateful for the support that MTF has stepped up to provide and we are looking forward to walking in support of Ethan and all children MTF will serve at the February event!”
US Bank and many other companies, organizations and individuals throughout North County, San Diego and Southern California will walk or run at this year’s MTF event. Each year, since the event began, MTF has drawn over 5,000 participants plus the many supporters donating worldwide to support the Foundations mission.
This year’s event will feature an amazing sky jump by Jim Woods, Safety and training officer for the Navy Parachute Team the "Leap Frogs," while carrying in a 1500 square foot American flag for the opening ceremonies, also a Kids Run (5-10 years old), live DJ and band entertainment, runners’ medals, raffle, prizes, kids’ games, vendor booths, and more. To register or donate to this worthy cause go to www.mitchellthorp.org or call 760-603-8853.
– Mitchell Thorp Foundation press release