East Peoria Boy, 9, Runs to Raise Thousands for Kids with Cancer

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EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — He didn’t think he’d get to the finish line.

Heat didn’t stop him. Rain didn’t stop him.

He had his appendix removed and that didn’t stop him.

Nine-year-old Everett Zimmerman finished what he started and raised $2,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital by running in his yard. He ran his 400th and final lap around his yard Tuesday.

“I didn’t think I would make it to $2,000,” Zimmerman said. ” I thought I would only help make it to my school’s $2,000 goal.”

Zimmerman, a third grader at East Peoria’s Woodrow Wilson School, wanted to be part of his school’s fundraiser for St. Jude’s but the event was derailed when the pandemic hit and sent students home in the spring. He decided he would help the school reach its $2,000 goal by getting donations for running laps on his property.

He ran 400 laps, the equivalent of 100 miles, over a three-month period and raised $2,000 by himself. Even an appendectomy in June didn’t slow him down.

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