DES MOINES, Iowa — Despite the rain, hundreds of Iowans came out to the Blood Sweat & Beers 5K to raise money for Iowan families battling blood cancer.
“It’s here for the kids, it’s here for the families, and it stays here for Iowa. This is an Iowa-based community support,” Ankeny resident Dee Figley said.
“We’ve got 450 people here in the rain for gosh sakes, and we didn’t even end up running!” Blood Sweat & Beers Co-Founder Tim Mauro said.
Unfortunately, the run was canceled because of lightning. But that didn’t stop the celebrating or the fundraising for local families like the Almeidas from Grimes.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Lucy Almeida was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia last November.
“From then on, it’s just been our reality of dealing with Lucy’s diagnosis,” Lucy’s mom Katie Almeida said.
That reality hit hard when the bills started piling up. Blood Sweat & Beers surprised the Almeidas and a couple other families with a large grant to help them out.
“We just opened our letter, we were really shocked. They covered about three months’ worth of our mortgage, so that’s a huge sigh of relief for us. We’re headed into flu season and my daughter doesn’t have an immune system so who knows how sick she’s going to be and how long we will have to be in-patient, so yeah, that’s been a huge deal for us,” Almeida said.
So far this year, the organization has been able to raise $100,000 for 23 different Iowa families dealing with blood cancer. The money helps pay for things like travel expenses, rent, mortgage and hospital stays.