Four Leaf Clover Run benefits local cancer patients

Kent Weeklies

The “Reboot” of the 5th Annual Four Leaf Clover 4-Mile Run will be held on Saturday, June 12, at 10 a.m.

The run works to unite the Akron area community in the local fight against cancer. Charity partners of the run include Project Ed Bear – a local volunteer organization that provides comforting needs to oncology patients at Akron Children’s Hospital, and the Stephen A. Comunale, Jr. Family Cancer Foundation, which provides Akron area families and individuals with financial assistance for day-to-day needs. Each year the Four Leaf Clover Foundation also picks a local fighter, who is either battling or recovering from cancer, to receive one-third of the funds raised from race participation.

Being both heartbreaking and inspiring, the Foundation has adopted as its 2021 fighter, 2018 Revere High School graduate Molly Oldham. On Aug. 15, 2019, Molly was headed to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro to join a highly selective musical theater program when a tennis-ball sized tumor was found in her brain. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 anaplastic ependymoma, a rare brain cancer that affects 300 people a year nationwide. Molly underwent an 8-hour brain surgery, 33 rounds of proton radiation, and months of daily intense physical therapy. Through it all, she always kept a positive attitude. An hour after surgery, she was singing Ben Platt’s “Ease Your Mind” and depended on music throughout her recovery. But heartbreak found Molly again in January 2021. She had relapsed and the cancer returned. She again underwent successful surgery, and this time sang “Mighty in Me” as she awoke. Molly again underwent radiation and chemo treatment while continuing to take college classes throughout her most recent battle. Molly was featured on the May 26 episode of “The View” on ABC television. 

The Four Leaf Clover Run was started in 2016 by Ed Sutter, of Eddie’s Famous Cheesesteaks and Grille, as a way to honor and fight for his family members suffering from cancer at the time – Michelle and Mary Anne. Michelle had recently lost her battle when the inaugural event was launched, and Mary Anne who was in the midst of another battle, but has since passed. The four-mile run travels through the West Hill neighborhoods of Akron, including the historic Glendale Cemetery. Participants can run or walk the length of the race, as well as enjoy the Alayna Bretsik Family Fun Run – where children and families are welcomed to join in the support. After the run and walk are completed, there is a Finisher’s Festival – a large celebratory party at the race’s finish line that includes the award ceremony, sponsor tents, BBQ, a live concert featuring nationally acclaimed Disco Inferno, and many more family games and activities.

This year, the “Reboot” of the 5th Annual Four Leaf Clover Run and Family Fun Run will begin at St. Vincent Church. Runners will finish as they cross the Taylor Ceepo Memorial Finish Line on the 50-yard line of the John Cistone Field at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. The race is still accepting new sponsors, and runners and walkers of all abilities are invited to join in the event.

For more information or to sign up to participate or sponsor, visit fourleafcloverrun.org. .