Season nine Biggest Loser contestants Ashley and Sherry Johnston are co-chairing the inaugural Butterfly Fund 5K on Saturday, Aug. 21, at Cherokee Boulevard, throwing their celebrity behind an effort to raise money for the Butterfly Fund at the East Tennessee Foundation, which supports local, regional, and national pediatric cancer research, treatments, and services, including East Tennessee Children's Hospital. The story behind the fund is both inspiring and heartbreaking: The families of Emily Barger and Maddie Harrill established it in memory of their daughters, who were both diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, in 2007, and died within weeks of each other the next summer. Emily was 7, Maddie 5.
Here are some of the national statistics that inspire the Butterfly Fund, which it draws from entities such as CureSearch for Children's Cancer and the National Cancer Institute:
• Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer
• One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20
• The mortality rate is 25 percent within five years of diagnosis
• 12,600 children will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year
• 80 percent of children already have metastatic disease at the time they're diagnosed
To register or for more information: butterflyfund.org