Runners travel 66 miles from Peru to Peoria to raise funds for St. Jude – Shaw Local


Kelly Schaefer’s daughter Madison was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was 8 days old. Shortly after entering the world, Madison became a patient at St. Jude and was treated for her cancer.

Madison will now turn 24 on August 14 and was declared cancer free at 8 months old.

Kelly from Peru is now hosting the local St. Jude race which was held on Saturday August 6th. She sees her involvement as a way to repay St. Jude for her daughter’s life. She said she was extremely grateful for what St. Jude did for Madison and said their family didn’t have to make a single payment for her cancer care.

“My reason [for doing this] Is simple. I have a healthy daughter,” Kelly said. “I experienced the power of St. Jude and will never forget it.”

This is Kelly’s 23rd race at St. Jude. While she organizes it, Madison and her father, Jim, participate in the race.

Eighteen runners took to the streets beginning at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning, covering a total of 66 miles on the La Salle-Peru race in Peoria St. Jude. Runners signed up for varying lengths ranging from a few to 15 miles, starting in Peru and ending in Peoria around 4 p.m.

A celebration is prepared for the runners once they reach Peoria. Food, water, snacks, a St. Jude store, beer garden and more are prepared to reward participants for crossing the finish line.

Each runner is responsible for raising $1,000 for St. Jude in order to participate. Despite the extreme heat throughout the day, the group finished the race and raised a total of $31,500.

If you want to become a runner or donate, visit St. Jude Races website at


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