The 15th annual RBC Race for the Kids at Comer Children’s Hospital raised more than $316,000 to support pediatric research at the University of Chicago Medicine.

More than 1,500 runners and walkers toed the starting line at the Oct. 15 race, which started and ended on the University of Chicago’s main quad. The family-friendly event included a 5K run/walk, a kids’ dash and a kids’ mile. It is one of the main fundraisers for the 172-bed children’s hospital.

Contributions from the race help UChicago Medicine physicians and scientists conduct research into childhood illnesses and disease, and advance care for young patients. This year, the funds were divided among three primary investigators:

  • Christina E. Ciaccio, MD, MSc, is determining if the gut bacteria of children with multiple food allergies differ from those of healthy children, leading to inflammation and, ultimately, allergic reactions.
  • James LaBelle, MD, PhD, is developing a therapy for patients with tumors that don’t respond to normal treatment that works by suppressing or stimulating the immune system. He will first test this strategy in neuroblastoma, the most common cancer in infants.
  • Timothy Sanders, MD, PhD, is working to understand the cellular and genetic factors that cause improper development of the hollow structure that forms the brain and spinal cord—called the neural tube—which can lead to birth defects like spina bifida.

“This event has become a mainstay for the Hyde Park neighborhood and Chicago running community,” said John Cunningham, MD, chairman of pediatrics at Comer Children’s. “We’re continually grateful to all involved for helping support our efforts in improving children’s health and fighting childhood diseases.”

Formerly called the Comer Kids’ Classic, the race began in 2002 and is now part of Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Race for the Kids series.

“I was thrilled to take part in this year’s RBC Race for the Kids Chicago for the second year in a row,” said John Thurlow, Managing Director and U.S. Chief Operating Officer of RBC Capital Markets. “Our support was so greatly appreciated by the hospital staff and its adjoining communities, and I was proud to be part of the RBC Chicago team that led the drive to push this year’s race to record fundraising totals and a record number of participants. Thank you team RBC Chicago for the great work that you do on behalf of Comer Children’s, and to the staff of Comer Children’s for the wonderful work that they do for the children of Chicago.”

Save the date for the 16th annual race:

Sunday, October 14, 2018 - 9:00am