Elana Brophy was a spirited, competitive girl. She loved her family, playing volleyball, cheerleading, learning at school and taking on new challenges.
When she was 7 years old, Elana was diagnosed with rhabomyosarcoma, a form of pediatric cancer. For two years, she and her care team at Cincinnati Children’s fought the cancer hard, but sadly at just 9 years old, Elana passed away.
Her family looked for ways to honor Elana’s memory and help others. Her father wrote a book, Zero to Sixty in Nine Years, about her life and how others can live life fully. Her family also formed the Elana Brophy Memorial Foundation. The foundation holds an annual Loop for Lana 5K Run and Walk that benefits the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children’s.
“The 5K is a special day for us,” says Elana’s mom, Amy. “We see so many people who cared for us and Elana. The volunteers, the runners, the walkers – everyone is there to help us remember her and help other families who are battling cancer.”
This year’s event was the sixth 5K, though the family has been raising money in Elana’s memory since 2005. The loop starts and ends at the Columbia Sussex building in Crestview Hills, Ky. The event has raised more than $80,000 total.
“It’s a challenging course,” Amy says. “We have a lot of competitive runners come out, and a lot of friends and family come to help and run or walk.”
After the run, participants stay for the party, which includes live music, food, a Chinese raffle and more.
Amy attributes much of Loop for Lana’s success to the generosity of the community. She and her family and friends ask local businesses to support the event, and when they learn that the proceeds benefit Cincinnati Children’s, they are eager to help out.
“The band we had for this event donated their time,” Amy says. “We get a lot of support from our community, and we are so thankful that they are willing to support kids like Elana.”
Amy says this year’s event, like all the others before it, was a bittersweet day for her.
“It’s amazing to see that there are still kids who went to school with Lana 13 years ago, and they come to this event,” she says. “It’s wonderful to raise funds to help other kids; it’s just heavy on my heart that she’s not here.”
You can honor a loved one with a fundraiser for Cincinnati Children’s. Learn more about our Giving Hope Program or contact Jane Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-636-5686 for more information.