ALBANY, N.Y. -- The fourth Freihofer’s Junior 3K Run will take place at the Empire State Plaza on Saturday, and proceeds will help local children.
The nearly two-mile race promotes an active and healthy lifestyle for 9 to14 year olds. But perhaps the most beneficial part of the race is the Kids Helping Kids initiative. One local family directly benefits from the cause.
All proceeds from the run go to the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical center. And as Meegan and Marc Mostransky of Colonie know all too well, every bit helps.
Their son Kashius, is an adventurous 8-year old who loves to play soccer, jump on the trampoline, and basically do anything that keeps him active.
“Kashius has been and probably always will be a bit of a daredevil,” said his mother.
“If there’s a wall, he’ll have to climb on it,” said his father.
But two and a half years ago, that all changed. After Meegan and Marc saw Kashius’ energy level dramatically decrease, they were concerned. Originally, they thought he had pneumonia and took him to the hospital. Chest x-rays came back negative, but his blood work revealed a deeper issue.
Kashius was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer. The disease has a 90 percent survival rate and the Mostransky's are doing everything in their power to ensure their son beat even those odds.
"There were no tears at first. It was what's the plan of action? Let's get this going. And fortunately, everything could be done at Albany Med,” said Marc Mostransky.
The reason Kashius could receive chemotherapy treatments, blood counts, spinal taps, and other medicine is thanks to different donations to not only the family directly, but to the Melodies Center, like the proceeds from the junior 3K run.
Two years ago, the couple’s oldest child, September ran in the race with her father, representing a team named "Kick it for Kashius."
She jokingly says she was tired from all the running because she felt it was a long distance, however, the thought of her brother pushed her to the finish.
"It just made it easier because I thought about what he goes through when I was running and then it just helped me run faster,” she said.
"I felt special because she was doing it in my honor,” said Kashius.
Meegan and Marc say Kashius' treatments are going smoothly for now, and he is expected to be done with chemotherapy in January, something his sister can't wait to see.
The Mostransky's can’t take part in this year's Freihofer's race as they have in the past, however, they will be hosting a 5K run and walk of their own called Kick It For Kashius on Saturday, June 14. They say all the proceeds will be given to other local families who need support for their own cancer fights.
They say it's a way they can pay it forward with all those who have helped them.