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Annual Run Raises Awareness, Funds for Childhood Cancer Research and Care

Scott Willis

The efforts of more than 2,500 runners were recognized today after they raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars in memory of a first grader from Baldwinsville who died of leukemia 20 years ago.  
  The parents of Paige Yeomans Arnold presented a check to Upstate’s Golisano Children’s Hospital for the $224,000 dollars raised from Paige’s Butterfly Run and other events this year.  Upstate CEO Dr. John McCabe says the money will go towards pediatric cancer research and other support programs.  

"The basic infrastructure and day to day of the hospital runs.  But to be able to give kids a set of backpacks or to give the families a little extra respite...those are the kinds of things in this case these funds are for.  It's to help us put the caring into the care we deliver."

Paige’s father Chris Arnold says they hear from families every year who send notes of thanks.

"As a parent who's been there, I can tell you how gratifying it is to read some of the things and hear some of the things that people tell us.  It's heartwarming, it's heartbreaking.  There's one particularly from a family that lost their son.  But they were very grateful for the support we gave during that process and afterwards."

Much has changed in the 20 years since Paige passed away.  Upstate’s Chair of Pediatrics Dr. Thomas Welch has seen it firsthand.  

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
Upstate's Chair of Pediatric Dr. Thomas Welch.

Paige's Butterfly run began in 1997 with just over 200 runners.  Since then, thousands of runners have raised more than $2 million for pediatric cancer research and care.   The next run is scheduled for June6th at the Taste of Syracuse.  More information at

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at