Emmy-nominated NFL Network host Rich Eisen suited up and sprinted for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® this week during his annual Run Rich Run event. Joining him were St. Jude patients and NFL ambassadors supporting the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.® Now in its 19th year, Run Rich Run aired on Saturday, April 29, during Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft.
Eisen was joined by five St. Jude patients, including Emmanuel, 19, who ran an incredible 4.7 second 40-yard-dash. Emmanuel was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye when he was only four years old. Today, he is a star athlete, a recipient of 18 football scholarships, a first team all-district pick and a college football player.
St. Jude patients Alana, 11, and Quincy, 12, both diagnosed with a form of kidney cancer called Wilms tumor, along with Reynaldo, 20, and Maelin-Kate, 8, joined Eisen to run the 40-yard-dash. Reynaldo was diagnosed in 2018 with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer and Maelin-Kate underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant to treat Fanconi anemia, a genetic disease that can cause leukemia.
“Our friend Rich Eisen is such an incredible force for good. Rich embodies the compassion and dedication that it takes to help kids at St. Jude have a chance to live their dreams — to become athletes, artists, scientists and global leaders,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The NFL and Rich’s support for St. Jude kids, along with generous donations from fans, will help St. Jude impact the 400,000 kids around the globe who will get cancer this year.”
Running with Eisen and St. Jude patients were two other football celebrities: Diana Flores, Quarterback of Mexico's gold medal-winning Women's Flag Football National Team and star of the NFL Super Bowl LVII commercial “Run With It,” and Play 60 Super Kid Julia Crossley. Eisen’s friend, and fellow University of Michigan alum, NFL legend Jarrod Bunch provided coaching and motivation for Eisen as he completed his run.
Because of generous donations through events like Run Rich Run, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – so they can focus on helping their child live. Eisen was named 2021 St. Jude Ambassador of the Year for his ongoing efforts in support of St. Jude kids.
Since 2012, the NFL has partnered with St. Jude through NFL PLAY 60, which is the "Official Champion of Play" at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. As the League's national youth health and wellness campaign encouraging youth to get physically active for 60 minutes a day, the NFL PLAY 60 initiative helps patients and families at St. Jude cope with serious illnesses through play therapy, peer interaction and other activities. NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid Julia Crossley, attended this year's run as an ambassador and supporter.
Donate to Run Rich Run, visit stjude.org/runrichrun.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and it won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. Because of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Support the St. Jude mission by donating at stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.