MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Target Field was busy long before today’s Twins game. It was the finish line for a special run, hosted by a Twins pitcher and his wife, and inspired by two very special kids.
It’s called Fifteen’s 5K because Glen Perkins wears No. 15 for the Twins. And plenty of runners dressed the part, right down to the eye-black.
But others wore special colors. Courtney Brigdenhill and her friend Paxton drove more than four hours from Sioux Center, Iowa to run for a 4-year-old named Kyra.
“She does nebulizer treatment,” said Brigdenhill, “and also the vest, which shakes her chest to loosen all of the mucus. She also has to take enzymes with every meal to help with the digestion.”
This run wasn’t just for fun. It raised money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Perkins and his marathon-running wife Alisha were inspired by two family friends, Aidan and Landry, who deal with the disease daily.
“Watching her with this little jacket on,” Alisha said about Landry, “and seeing what they have to do every day kills you.”
So, although there was plenty of baseball, with home plate as a finish line, Glen’s teammates handing out medals and Joe Mauer signing autographs, Perkins hopes the runners also connected with the kids.
“To see the kids here,” he said, “and for the people to meet the kids and see who they’re running for, and kind of put a face for the race, with the disease and that, it’s cool.”
And Alisha hopes they learned a little more about the disease.
“As hard as it was for you to do that, as much as it taxed your lungs, that’s what those kids go through every day,” she said to the runners.
Cystic Fibrosis affects the lungs and digestive systems of about 30,000 kids and adults in the United States. For more information, go to http://www.cff.org/AboutCF/ and http://www.cff.org/Chapters/minnesota/.