When it's for a good cause, it's not difficult to roll out of bed on a cool Saturday morning in September. It gets even easier when the event is helping out young kids, and the third annual "Kickin’ Kawasaki 5K" does just that.
Kawasaki disease is a rare disease found mostly in children younger than the age of five. The disease causes blood vessels to become inflamed, which, when untreated, can lead to future cardiovascular complications.
To date, there is no known cause of Kawasaki disease, but experts agree that the way to contract it is through environmental triggers, which would then cause an overall inflammation of the body, along with other symptoms, Kawasaki Kids Foundation event coordinator and volunteer Courtney Geisel said.
With all proceeds going toward the Kawasaki Kids Foundation, over 70 runners and walkers lined up on Auditorium Road, ready to do their part in combating the disease on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Under the theme of "Kool Kicks," participants and spectators wore brightly-colored shoes and socks. After a quick pep talk from Geisel, the runners were off on their race around campus.
Along with events held all around the country, the Kawasaki Kids Foundation puts on an event each year in East Lansing with the help of the MSU College of Human Medicine and other sponsors.
“It started with the College of Medicine, Pediatrics and Human Development. One of their doctors was our doctor when our son was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease,” Geisel said.
With that relationship built, the College of Human Medicine agreed to sponsor the Kawasaki Kids Foundation's event on campus.
By holding events such as the "Kickin’ Kawasaki 5K," the Kawasaki Kids Foundation says it's trying to fulfill their vision of bringing awareness to the disease in hopes of one day finding a cure.