By Megan Alley
Family and friends of Lisa Connelly, an Amelia woman who died at the age of 37 in November 2015 from a heart attack brought on by the long term effects of Kawasaki Disease, are once again hosting a fun run/walk event to raise money to help fight the illness.
“Kawasaki disease, also known as Kawasaki syndrome, is a serious illness characterized by inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body that primarily affects young children and infants. Kawasaki disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children,” according to the Kawasaki Disease Foundation’s website.
Connelly was diagnosed with the disease when she was a child; she went on to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, according to Amy Smith, Connelly’s sister.
Event organizers hope to honor Connelly, educate attendees about Kawasaki Disease and raise money to help raise awareness of the possible long term effects of the disease.
“We want to raise awareness about what Kawasaki Disease is,” Smith said, noting that it is critical to catch the disease early.
She added, “Our long term goal is to help organize a symposium for the medical community. One of the leading Kawasaki Disease experts in the nation, Dr. Jane Burns, MD — Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego — told me the best way I can honor my sister is to help educate the medical community. And so, that’s one of the things we are aiming to do. Lisa would do it for one of us.”
“Kawasaki Disease is more common than Lyme Disease but rarely talked about,” read the press release for the event. “Kawasaki Disease affects the mucous membranes, lymph nodes, walls of the blood vessels and the heart. Kawasaki Disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children. The cause of the disease and the long term effects are still unknown.”
The fun 5K run/1.25 walk event will be held on Aug. 12 at Batavia Township Community Center and Park, located at 1535 Clough Pike.
Registration is open from 9-10 a.m. and costs $10 for ages 4-11 years old and $25 for ages 12 and older; registrants will also gain access to vendor booths and sponsored actives.
Advanced registration at a discounted price, $5 for ages 4-11 years old and $20 for ages 12 and older, is also available online at registrationspot.com or via mail to L-Team, 1785 Sunny Acres Lane Amelia, OH 45102.
The fun run/walk begins at 10 a.m., followed by a raffle drawing at 11:30 a.m.
All proceeds will benefit research and awareness of the long term effects of Kawasaki Disease, according to a press release for the event.
Event sponsorships are also available; to become a sponsor contact Amy Smith at 937-618-2061, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.