Carlsbad residents Brad and Beth Thorp lost their 16-year-old son Mitchell to an undiagnosed illness more than three years ago. For five years, the family searched for answers at various medical centers – and the community offered support.
“When we were going through our five-year journey with our son Mitchell, the community came out in droves, supporting us and doing a walk for us because our medical bills were tremendous,” Beth Thorp said.
On Saturday, the Thorps will continue to give back to the community and lead the third annual Mitchell Thorp Foundation 5K Walk/Run to support children and families who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses, diseases and disorders.
“It’s all about community,” said Thorp, co-founder of the Mitchell Thorp Foundation. “It’s all about bringing people together and helping one another within the community.”
Thorp anticipates 600 participants, including some of the families the nonprofit supports.
DJ and Kristina Heston are planning to attend the event to help raise funds for children, including their daughter Amelia, who was born with multiple craniofacial abnormalities and facio-aricula vertebral malformation spectrum, which causes deafness.
“It’s a great cause because it helps local kids and families in need,” said DJ Heston.
Heston and his wife have been working with the Mitchell Thorp Foundation to raise $80,000 for an auditory brainstem implant, which would restore partial hearing ability for their daughter.
“The Thorps have been great help,” he said.
Since the nonprofit was formed in 2009, the Mitchell Thorp Foundation has distributed $126,000 and assisted 18 families in the San Diego region by paying for medical, living and transportation costs.
“We pay for anything that would help the family with some of that burden so they can focus on what they do best, which is taking care of and loving their child,” Thorp said.
Organizers hope to raise $100,000 to help as many families as possible this year.
“We’re starting out 2012 hopeful that we can raise enough so that we don’t have to turn away anyone,” Thorp said.
The 5K Walk/Run begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Thorp Field in Carlsbad’s Poinsettia Park. Registration begins at 9 a.m.
To register, call 760-603-8853 or visit mitchellthorp.com.