Editor’s Note: Little Hearts Big Smiles, which has been helping Clinton Countians for more than 10 years as a supportive outlet for families raising special needs children, will host its annual 5K and fun run on May 20.
All proceeds will go to benefit Phase 4 of the Little Hearts Big Smiles Playground on Fife Avenue in Wilmington, which includes the addition of handi-accessible restrooms for children and families.
This year, Little Hearts Big Smiles is rallying participants to show support by joining one of six teams led by a captain: Andrew’s Army; Brei’s Brigade;Team Paxton and Irene; Gracie’s Squad; Team Braydyn; and Abby’s Army.
For six days leading up to the event, the News Journal is profiling the team captains. This is the final profile. More information on the event follows the story.
Paxton loves to play practical jokes on people; the 8-year-old is very bright and is academically on the grade-level of his peers at Clinton-Massie Elementary.
Irene, 2, loves spending time with other children and playing. She enjoys using her toys that she can specially activate with a switch button.
Paxton and Irene both have a rare genetic disease called Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia Type 1B (PCH Type 1B). This is a rare neurological disease that causes their cerebellum to shrink. Due to the small cerebellum, Paxton and Irene are wheelchair bound and unable to speak.
But this doesn’t stop either one of them!
Paxton loves being with all of his friends and teachers at school. He loves to swim in his special float at the pool, ocean, or lake. And he loves going to sporting events, especially to watch the Cincinnati Reds.
Irene’s favorite toy is a motorized car that she can ride in.
She is currently in an early intervention group at the Aaron W. Perlman Center and is excited to start preschool at Clinton-Massie Elementary next year — and be at the same school with her big brother. They love to go to the park and swing together.
Paxton and Irene and the Little Hearts Big Smiles family are thankful to live in such a supportive community. They want to thank you in advance for your support of the LHBS playground and helping all children be able to play together!
About the event
The Little Hearts Big Smiles 5K is a walk-or-run event with prizes going to the top-three finishers for both male and female.
All of the teams will have a specialty shirt made for the 5K; however, joining a team is not a requirement to participate. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 20 at 1400 Fife Ave. with the 5K starting at 9 a.m. Registration is open to sign up for the 5K.
Little Hearts Big Smiles thanks Vital Fitness, Pittser Family Eyecare and Wilmington Savings Bank for supporting the 5K.
To find out more about these events, and for more information about Little Heart Smiles Big Smiles, visit www.littleheartsbigsmiles.org or find them on Facebook.