Pennsylvania middle school students remember cancer victims while volunteering at the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia

WYNCOTE, Pa. (CBS) – A team of volunteers and runners from a local middle school gave a pep talk Wednesday ahead of Sunday's Broad Street Run. The team will present itself strongly and will be remembered Relatives who have died of cancer.

“We are Cedarbrook. We are Sean Strong,” cheered students at Cedarbrook Middle School in Wyncote. They were full of enthusiasm for the run. These young volunteers will distribute water to runners through the Sean Strong Foundation.

“He was sarcastic and funny and had a million friends,” Patti Hogan said of her husband Sean.

He died of bile duct cancer in 2013. Her struggles raising her little ones while caring for Sean inspired Hogan to start the foundation. She raises money through the Broad Street Run to help parents pay for their children's expenses.

“Pool memberships, summer camps, sports fees, school fees,” Hogan explained. “One time we even paid for ballroom dancing lessons and braces for a child.”

Students prepare for their volunteer water station at the Broad Street Run.

CBS News Philadelphia

One of the foundation's donors was Donna Storm, who often led the heats for the race. Storm died of pancreatic cancer in January 2024. At this point, Hogan made a promise to Storm's son.

“I turned to Brett and said, 'This year I'm dedicating the shirts to your mom,'” Hogan said.

Seventh-grade teacher Kristi Perrone said she will run to keep Storm's memory alive.

“When she was in the crowd cheering us on, it just gave us more.” [all] “The excitement and the thrill of running the race,” Perrone said.

Eighth-grader Tacori Matin will also be running. She said she volunteers in honor of her aunt Thelma, who also died of cancer.

“I think she would be proud of me if I just took time out of my weekend to volunteer,” Martin said.

At Sunday's race, these volunteers will encourage runners and hope that the runners return the favor.

“So give us a big cheer when you see us go by,” Perrone said. “Because we Sean are strong.”

Runners will find this team of volunteers just before mile eight at Broad and Mifflin Streets.

Anna Harden

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