Community runs with Neufeld family
by Emily Kauffman – Horizon Features Editor
On Saturday, family and friends of Russ Neufeld will join together to support his family with a running event to raise funds for medical expenses.
Neufeld, Information Technology Director at Hesston College, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in July and is currently undergoing treatment.
But his friends have his back. The “Run with Russ” event is the latest effort to rally around the Neufelds. The official “Run with Russ” Facebook page is followed by 244 supporters, many of whom will show up to run, walk, or simply sport their bright green t-shirt in a selfie posted to the page.
“It sure hasn’t been an easy road, but he has done it with such determination and focus,” the page description says. “Russ has always appreciated community, so we thought if Russ ever needed community, it’s now!”
David LeVan, professor of business and Derek Yoder, both friends of the Neufeld family, coordinated the event. LeVan says he hopes the money generated through t-shirt sales and will offset some of the incredible expense of medical treatment, but that’s not the only goal.
“Most importantly, we want to show Russ that he and his family are loved and supported during this difficult time.”
Neufeld’s wife, Kendra, said was overwhelmed with joy and love for their community upon hearing of the event.
“I loved the character of Russ on the t-shirt, and I thought it was great how people could participate from wherever they are, said Kendra. “It’s a great way for family and friends that don’t live in the area to be able to join in the support.”
Kendra said she’s looking forward to participating with her family, including Russ, who just finished the fifth of eight rounds of chemotherapy.
“Russ is hoping to join in as much as possible, maybe walking a little, or maybe just visiting with people after the race. We hope he’s up to it that day, but I know if there’s any possibility he will want to be there.”
Two Local Run with Russ Events:
Where? 1200 South Pine Street, Newton, Kan.
When? Saturday at 10 a.m. Run will be followed by coffee, juice, fruit, and donuts.
Where? Hesston College arch on Main Street
When? Saturday at 10 a.m. Run will be followed by refreshments.