Three teenage girls who are lifelong friends believe in magic and Miracles—especially when St. Jude is involved.
In February of 2016, Brielle Lumia, Tara Maier and Dominique Otto, all 15 years old, showed their faith by forming a mother-daughter St. Jude Heroes team that ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, this February. Team members donned running gear and pink tutus for the race, raising more than $19,700 for the kids of St. Jude.
“Running down Main Street toward Cinderella’s castle, I remember being in awe of Walt Disney World as a magical place where dreams come true. But on that day, I thought the true magic is what St. Jude does, because they work very hard to make sure that kids get to be kids,” Brielle said. “The kids of St. Jude are the true heroes, as they run a virtual marathon, fighting for their very existence.”
The three girls began learning about St. Jude seven years ago, when their mothers became involved with the Angels for Hope fundraising committee for St. Jude in New Jersey.
The Princesses for Hope St. Jude Heroes team included the three teens, their mothers and their younger siblings. The teens and their mothers—Donna Lumia, Sheila Maier and Danielle Otto—all ran the half marathon. Angels for Hope committee member Geraldine Tama also ran the half marathon, while her daughter Alexandra ran the 10K, and her 6-year-old twins took on the 400-meter run. Brielle’s siblings also participated: Kayleigh Lumia, 12, ran the half marathon, and Sierra Lumia ran the 10K.
But on that day, I thought the true magic is what St. Jude does, because they work very hard to make sure that kids get to be kids.
“A half-marathon is only a long distance if you make it out to be,” said Tara, “and it cannot parallel the journey that children afflicted with cancer must face.”
Because of St. Jude, Dominique said, “I was able to push through every mile smiling, knowing in my heart I will aid in the process of saving a life.”