Sep. 24—The sun is already climbing overhead as runners cross the busy stretch of West Ruben M. Torres Boulevard to the Livingway Family Church-Brownsville Campus a little past 7 a.m. Saturday morning.
The parking lot is already full of runners stretching, checking in at registration, or getting a small rainbow airbrushed onto their skin with the words "Milo's Run" before the 8 a.m. race start.
Milo's Run is an annual local running event put on by Milo's Everglow Foundation to help turn a family tragedy into a source of hope and support for others in the community. Local parents Chris and Nahomi Moore started the foundation and running event after their 6-month-old son, Milo, passed in 2021 due to cancer. Over 750 runners signed up this Saturday to run for the event in person or virtually and provide their support to the family's mission.
For just over three months, the Moore family, who lived in Brownsville, were a fixture at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi, where their son received treatment.
"We were in the hospital for long periods of time because our son was diagnosed with MRT, which is a malignant rhabdoid tumor," Chris said.
"That kind of tumor is a very fast-growing tumor with not a lot of treatments," he said.
At the time, Chris's father had suggested the family hold a run to raise awareness for childhood cancers like Milo's, but Chris says they had no idea, at the time, their son would pass before they could.
Now in his memory, the family holds Milo's Run, which features a 1-Mile Fun Run, 5K and 10K to raise money for their foundation, which helps to meet the needs of families who are going through similar moments of crisis.
During this event, the family presented a check for $20,000 to Driscoll Children's Hospital, which provided care to their son. Driscoll Children's Hospital's Director of Development Yvette Padilla and Director of Critical Care Transport Jeremy Goodman accepted the check from the family on stage.
"We are honored and blessed to be partners with your community. Every year we log over 100,000 miles on the ground bringing children from South Texas to the campus at Corpus Christi," Goodman said.
Currently, Nahomi explains, only one ambulance services Brownsville for children urgently needing care at Corpus Christi, but if another medical emergency happens, that can take precedence. In their case, she explains, they waited several hours for transport to arrive. With this donation, she says, the hospital can expand its fleet to get to families sooner.
The Moore's also presented a check for $1,000 to the Children's Bereavement Center of the Rio Grande Valley. The center offers grief support groups, individual counseling and grief camp options for adults, teens and children to work through and express their grief in a safe space.
After their son's passing, Nahomi said that friend had recommended them through Instagram, and the family has found it to be an instrumental organization in processing their own grief.
The event proceeds also go to support the work of the foundation, which helps provide whatever support families dealing with childhood cancer might need, from financial support like gas cards through Livingway Cares to awareness raising or resource connecting.
Runner Jubilee Livingway principal Juan Garza and his 7-year-old daughter Allison ran through the 1-Mile Fun Run obstacle course together for the cause.
Standing at the finish line with his daughter, wearing their race medals, Garza said the event offered a positive way to come together for the community for a necessary cause.
"It's a great cause to support the families that rely on Driscoll Children's Hospital with whatever they need," Garza said.
For more information about the foundation, to apply for help or make a donation, you can learn more at www.miloseverglow.org.