Something beautiful and strong has come from something that is by nature very sad.

Much like a caterpillar going through metamorphosis to become a beautiful butterfly, a metamorphosis of the community has been occurring locally.  With the help of one very special little girl, her teachers, family, and volunteers, there is hope and strength where there was once darkness. Happiness and positivity have infiltrated something that is very negative, and saddening.

Photos of Paige and beautiful butterflies were the first thing our own Devin Sardano noticed while entering the event Saturday June 6th with his family. He perused the activity stations with his wife and children after supporting the cause by purchasing some Paige’s Butterfly Run gear. The environment was upbeat and fun thanks to the tunes and announcements coming from the SUNNY 102 DJ booth. Devin’s son ran in and out of the bounce house while his daughter took some time to color. Local businesses donated food and beverages for ravenous runners and attendees to enjoy. Large gift baskets donated by local businesses lined a long table to be raffled off to lucky winners. Devin was excited to be a part of the event and told me that he felt

A wave of fellowship and community. Everyone there seemed 100 percent invested in the good of the cause and the event itself. For those 3 hours no one was thinking about themselves.

Get involved: Cancer bad, helping good.

There are many ways you can be a part of the Paige’s Butterfly Run Community. If you aren’t a runner, you can take it slow in the 3K walk instead. If you are physically unable to participate, or would rather not walk/run you are welcome to attend the event to be a part of the Paige’s Butterfly Run community. There were activity stations set up at the Federal Building this year for children to take part in, as well as the “Caterpillar crawl” a 40 foot scramble for kids ages 5 and under. Devin was able to keep the kids entertained and have a great time himself as a “first timer”. If Devin, the curmudgeon, was able to have a good time, anyone can!

Paige’s Pajamarama | Help the kids another way!

If you would like to participate there’s still time! You can’t run, walk, or meander through the activity stations until next year; you can, however, spearhead a Pajamarama through your place of work, anytime! What’s a Paige’s Pajamarama you ask? A day where participants get to wear pajamas to work or school in honor of children who have to wear them all day, every day. Find more information on how you can make this happen in your workplace or school.

You can honor an individual by writing their name on a commemorative butterfly. The purchase price of the butterfly is donated to funds set up by Paige’s Butterfly Run for research and family resources. The Butterfly will join many others to form a swarm of butterflies at the Federal Building. Learn more by flapping your butterfly wings on over to this Adopt a Butterfly!. The kind people who make up the Paige’s Butterfly Run Committee are always coming up with new fun ways people can participate and donate. Expect to see more next year!

A community comes together for a single cause.

A celebration of life and hope has managed to blossom out of a tragic situation. Hope is promoted through funding research locally, right here at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. A sense of comfort is offered to families whose lives have become anything but comfortable through family funds set up by Paige’s Butterfly Run. You can learn more about the specific funds by listening to this short audio clip.

When the average person thinks of pediatric cancer, their mind associates the word with unpleasant images. My brain pulls up images of children in hospital beds, fighting for their lives, as it should, those images are the reality. What started as an idea from a group of Paige’s teachers, has become, not just an event that contributes to a local charity, but a powerful community gathering where everyone is able to come together to support a singular cause without the noise of secondary motivations or expectations. I’ll be there next year; will you? What reason is there to not be a part of something that is not only fun, but also benefits cancer research taking place right in your own backyard?