Meet our Pajamas All Day 5K/10K Grant Recipients
Since it's inception in 2019, our signature race event, the Pajamas All Day 5K/10K is our favorite day of the year for so many reasons! We love being able to bring people together to #MoveBecauseWeCan, Jenn's original mantra when she underwent her amputation due to sarcoma cancer in 2018. We also love seeing the community come together to support the sarcoma community.
As part of our inaugural event, we not only wanted to show everyone in person what Move For Jenn was all about, we wanted to make a serious impact on someone's life. Because the main pillar of the Move For Jenn Foundation is to offer grants in the form of activewear prosthetics, we knew that we wanted to give a grant as a part of the event.
Karen (pictured above with MFJ Co-Founder, Jenn Andrews) lost her leg below the knee in 2010 due to clear cell sarcoma, then later lost her leg above the knee in 2018 due to complications. Her dream was to participate in a half marathon, and what better way to do that than in a racing wheelchair!
Unfortunately, we lost Karen in September of 2022. In a tribute written by Jenn, she said "One thing I know for sure is that when I think of this force of a woman, I will NEVER think that cancer 'won.' When I think of her, I will remember the beautiful person who was...the first sarcoma survivor to mentor me in person. The one who walked in our first coffee meeting with her infectious smile and beautiful curly hair, wearing skinny jeans and high heels. She was showing up as her true self right when I was wondering how I could ever feel like myself again after amputation."
Jacky Hunt-Broersma (pictured above with MFJ Co-Founder, Jenn Andrews) had her leg amputated due to Ewing's sarcoma in 2001. Jacky is a world renowned ultra marathon runner and world record holder! In 2022, Jacky set a new World Record for most consecutive marathons run by a female athlete.
We had so much fun giving these two grants in 2019 that we knew it had to become a race tradition. While life looked a little different in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were thrilled to be able to virtually present Rebecca Johnston with a BioDapt system that would give her the opportunity to snowboard, ski, wakeboard, and waterski.
Check out the video of Jenn surprising Rebecca with the news here.
Rebecca immediately got to work and officially became a U.S. Parasnowboarder! Rebecca is currently recovering from ACL surgery and can't wait to get back out on the slopes. Check out what she's up to here.
In 2021, we were thrilled to be able to welcome Ke'yair, his mom, and his service dog to Charlotte for the Pajamas All Day 5K/10K!
Prior to his arrival at the 2021 PJAD 5K/10K, Key did not even have an appropriate walking leg. His socket did not fit correctly, the knee and foot were both outdated, and the system was not age appropriate for the kind of activities a child wants to do.
We knew that we needed to get Key a new prosthetist to be fitted for a better walking leg, including a new socket, activity knee, and walking foot. We also knew that we had to surprise him with a running blade to help give him full range of motion and enjoy being a kid.
Key is currently fighting osteosarcoma for the fourth time. We love this sweet boy and are always in his corner. You can follow along on his journey here.
In 2022, we were able to give two surprise grants to two incredible individuals.
Our first grant recipient was our friend, Marisa. To say we're lucky to know this woman is an understatement. Marisa is a synovial sarcoma warrior who traveled all the way from Texas to be part of the Pajamas All Day 5K/10K. We were so excited to surprise Marisa with a new activity foot before the race started Saturday morning. This new activity foot will help Marisa get back to hiking, HIIT classes, and more.
Marisa recently had to undergo chemotherapy for the fourth time this summer due to synovial sarcoma. Just recently, she received news that her tumors are stable/shrinking! Follow along on Marisa's journey here.
Our second 2022 PJAD grant recipient was Addison. We originally gave Addison the gift of movement in 2020 with a new socket and activity foot for her everyday active kid life. However, at the time, she was just shy of the height she needed to be in order to be fitted for a running blade.
Addison is one active little girl, so we knew she needed a running blade as soon as she was tall enough. She is now playing soccer with ease and loving life as a kid! Addison runs, plays soccer, hikes, is a gymnast, and so much more!
We are so excited for our fifth annual Pajamas All Day 5K/10K on Saturday, December 9! We have a few surprises up our sleeves and we cannot wait to share more.
Join us for...
- 5K, 10K, and Kid’s Fun Run
- Vendor fair
- Food and drink vendors
- Petting zoo
- Inflatables and games
- Local animal rescue groups
- Snow day surprises
- And more!
Learn more: pajamasallday5k.com
Are you an amputee due to sarcoma or an affiliated disease who is looking for assistance with an activewear prosthetic? Learn more about the Move For Jenn mission here.