PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Lacing up their shoes and hitting the road, more than 100 Central Illinoisans left Peoria Tuesday morning for Memphis, TN.
Wednesday morning, July 14, kicks off the 2021 St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Run.
The road trip ends at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital headquarters. The runners will then make the trip back– partially on foot.
Motorhomes left the parking lot of the St. Jude Development Office in Peoria and drove 465 miles. Each motorhome had seven to nine participants, who then will run in increments of three or six miles. The run is continuous until runners cross the Bob Michel Bridge on Saturday.
Last year, the event was held virtually because of the pandemic. St. Jude Runs Founder, Mike McCoy, said they raised $4.6 million despite the event being online. He said he hopes to make just as much this year.
“For the kids of St. Jude, for the doctors and researchers of St. Jude, to help cure childhood cancer,” McCoy said.
At the sendoff, one St. Jude patient shared her story.
“I was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia and populoid thyroid cancer and St. Jude has seen me through completely,” Aja Phan said. “I wanted to thank everyone before heading off to Memphis.”
The amount raised will be announced Saturday night.