JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Runners, walkers and joggers gathered on the University of North Florida’s campus this Saturday morning to help local children battling serious illnesses.
It was for Dreams Come True sixth annual 5K Walk, Run or Stroll.
The organization has been helping children in Northeast Florida with serious illnesses for 39 years.
In addition to helping children and their families through a scary time, the organization makes those kids’ dreams come true.
“I got a bunch of art supplies,” Mo said.
Mo is a dreamer, also known as a child who has been helped by the organization.
Another dreamer is Tzion Caffee.
“My dream was to get like a whole bunch of paintball gear and paintball is an expensive sport,” Caffee said.
Caffee and Mo both battled childhood cancer. Caffee battled it twice.
The two-time cancer survivor said seeing all the people who showed up to support Dreams Come True and their mission made him happy.
“I know I really appreciate it, so I know they appreciate it,” Caffee said.
Organizers said more than 2,000 people showed up to participate in Saturday’s event, which was their largest crowd so far.
Cheryl Altman was one of the people who participated in the 5K and felt inspired to join the walk because the child she was a nanny for had a serious illness.
Altman said Dreams Come True granted him his wish to go to Disney World.
Since then, she said she’s been supporting events the organization puts on as much as she can.
“Even my small donation, if everybody donates five bucks that adds up quickly,” Altman said. “It’s huge. Huge for these children.”
The organization does have a goal of raising $500,000.
And while events like Saturday’s help them get a step closer to reaching that goal, the day marked an even larger goal for Mo.
“Today is officially one year being off chemo,” Mo said.
At Saturday’s event, the organization did reveal the logo they’ll be using for their 40th-year celebration.
News4Jax will be holding a phone bank Monday to help raise money for Dream Come True. It will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
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