The CHaD Hero Half provides critical financial support which allows us to care for the sickest and most critically injured children. This heroic effort truly makes a difference in our young patient's treatment and recovery and supports the wellbeing of the children and families we serve.
Hanover, N.H. (PRWEB) September 3, 2009
Superheroes coming together during times of crisis to battle a common foe is a typical theme in comic books. Upper Valley residents got a chance to see fiction turned to reality this past weekend as the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) set a new Guinness World Record by bringing together 1,016 superheroes in conjunction with its recent CHaD Heroes Half Marathon and Relay.
Despite a rainy, overcast day, thousands turned out for the event with a record-breaking number in superhero costumes, easily eclipsing the previous record. The event was a success on all fronts. Over 800 runners participated, including 107 registered 3-person relay teams and nearly 550 runners who took on the challenging 13.1-mile half-marathon course. Keith Drake of Hanover set a new course record at 1 hour, 14 minutes, 23 seconds. The top female runner, Tracy Joslin of Waitsfield, VT, finished at 1 hour, 33 minutes, 51 seconds. Complete results and photos are available online at http://www.chadhalf.org.
Over 400 children and their families participated in "Cam's Course," a one-mile fun run in honor of Cameron Marshall, a CHaD patient from Lyme who is being treated for leukemia. Also new this year was a roughly 5K walking course that included 50 walkers.
Organizers say the world record try with the superhero theme was meant to symbolize the heroic nature of the battles that many CHaD patients with serious health conditions fight on a daily basis. It also recognizes as heroes the parents who take care of them, the care providers who treat them, the researchers who work tirelessly to find cures, and the community members who support them through fundraising and volunteering.
"We are so lucky to have an institution like CHaD in our backyard, and lucky that people are willing to do what it takes to support it," said event volunteer organizer Nini Meyer. "I remember standing on stage and looking down at the sea of capes in front of me thinking that surely I was witnessing the best of humanity. It was an incredible sight to see our community rallied in a superhuman show of hope and protection. I felt incredibly lucky to be part of this magic."
The event raised an estimated $225,000 for research and patient care at CHaD, New Hampshire's only children's hospital. The Children's Hospital at Dartmouth provides an extended system of care that offers advanced clinical services for children. This includes everything from well-care visits to the most complex childhood diseases. CHaD also recently added a new Emergency Services Unit as part of its Emergency Department. CHaD is part of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), the only Level I Pediatric (and Adult) Trauma Center in Northern New England.
"Everyone at CHaD is in awe of the outpouring of support by our community," said CHaD Director Paul Merguerian, M.D. "The CHaD Hero Half provides critical financial support which allows us to care for the sickest and most critically injured children. This heroic effort truly makes a difference in our young patient's treatment and recovery and supports the wellbeing of the children and families we serve."
"We felt from the onset that the superhero metaphor worked beautifully in terms of describing the heroes on staff at CHaD, but also in providing hope and empowerment for families struggling with illness," Meyer added. "The symbol of a superhero is instantly recognizable to people of all ages, and instantly lends a sense of enthusiasm and positive energy.