Ten-year-old raising funds through triathlon to fight childhood cancer
Tuesday, August 06, 2013 8:51 AM
More than 10 years ago, a 9-year-old boy with cancer, wise beyond his years, withdrew all of his money from his bank account and gave it to all the kids with cancer in the same hospital that he was in.
Brody Christiansen participated in a triathlon in 2010, and is going again this year. Participants bring their own bikes and helmets to use for the race.
His website explains, "Though cancer was ravaging his body, he saw that it was bringing his family closer together. Mitch knew he was loved and felt blessed to never be left alone in the hospital.
"But Mitch was a sensitive kid, and he saw something on the cancer floor that made him very sad. Some of the other kids were alone a lot. He couldn't imagine being alone there for more than a few minutes. So when some kids went an entire day - or more - without having a single visitor, it just tore him apart."
This is when Mitch withdrew the money and made his dad pinky swear that after he was gone, his father would continue to help kids with cancer and their families in Minnesota, so the Miracles of Mitch Foundation began.
As a fundraiser for the Miracles of Mitch Foundation, a MiracleKids triathlon is held in the Twin Cities area.
Local 10-year-old, Brody Christiansen, is participating in the triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 17, in Chanhassen.
This is the second time that Brody has participated in this event. He will be swimming 100 yards, biking three miles and running one-half mile. About 1,100 kids ages 7 to 17 will be participating.
"I'm excited to do the race," commented Brody. "It is pretty cool to do and see so many other kids doing it, too. We all get medals when we are done, but it's not about winning, it's just about completing the race and raising money for the kids with cancer in the hospital."
Brody decided to participate in the triathlon the first time after watching his cousin participate. Since that triathlon in 2010, he has visited the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis with the Boy Scouts, and he saw in person what kids with cancer and other illness have to go through.
"Racing for these kids that are sick means even more to me now after visiting the hospital," Brody added.
"We [Boy Scouts] had collected toys and books and games to give the Children's Hospital. I think it would be really hard to be sick like that. It was neat to see all the things that they do for the kids to help make their stay nicer."
Each triathlon participant races for an All-Star. An All-Star is a child who is fighting cancer. The Miracles of Mitch Foundation explains, "We believe kids who are fighting cancer have the courage of a warrior and the heart of a champion. Therefore, we call them Mitch's All-Stars."
The name of the All-Star is on the triathlon participants left leg. Some of the All-Stars also participate if they are feeling up to it. Brody will be racing for a 6-year-old boy, Joel.
"Parents and family members can line up anywhere along the race way and cheer on the kids," said Brody's mom, Heidi. "It is really cool to see people sticking out their hands for high-fives as the kids run by and ringing cowbells in encouragement."
Heidi also said that overall this year about $309,000 has been raised so far.
Brody is still taking donations for his race in the MiracleKids Triathlon. His goal is to raise $1,000, which would put him into the Mitchie Hall of Fame for fundraising.
The Miracles of Mitch Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. When making an online donation, a receipt will be emailed which can be printed as the donation is tax deductible.
To make a donation, send Heidi an email, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit online at http://events.miraclesofmitch.org. and click on "Donate" in the upper right-hand corner. Search for Brody's page by entering his last name.