OHSWEKEN – The sky above Six Nations was red and pink Saturday morning at 11 o’clock as the 2nd Annual 10K for Keely Run, Walk, or Ride kicked off with a balloon release, followed by 12 laps around the Six Nations Fair Grounds Race Track.
Tammy Point and Scott Hill’s daughter Keely Louise Hill lost her battle with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 on June 30th, 2011 at the tender age of 18 months.
Around 70 people participated with registration beginning at 9:30 Saturday morning. At 11 a.m. there was a a balloon release in Keely’s name.
The balloon release was a special part of the event. “Keely liked balloons,” Tammy recalls. “That’s really one of the very few things she could play with.”
That was followed by a 10k walk, run or ride, 12 laps of the track, which could be run, walked or ridden on a bicycle.
The Hill family conducted its Second Annual event to help fund raise for Ronald MacDonald House in Hamilton, the family’s home away from home while Keely fought her battle at McMaster University Hospital. “Scott and our other kids stayed at the Ronald MacDonald House for three straight months, and off and on after that as well, when Keely was receiving treatment in hospital,” said Tammy. “It was close enough for the kids and myself to stay close to her and visit her as often as possible.”
It also served as a place of refuge and a hot shower when they would be away from home for days and weeks on end.
“They made us feel as much as home as they could,” says Tammy. A playroom is being built in Keely’s name, which she and her husband Scott have been fundraising for since Keely passed on. “We just knew how much it helped us and when they began renovations, we wanted to help and give back a little,” she says.
The first annual event last year raised $14,000 and this year the family completed fundraising for the renovation at a total costs of $37,000.
“Any money left over from these fundraising efforts will go towards the Keely Louise
Health Foundation which Scott and I are starting to help other families with terminally ill children cover their living expenses,” says Tammy. “We know what the families need.
It is a good way for us to remember Keely as well and honour her and to carry on her legacy.”