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Fifth Run for Ella in honor of baby Harper Bagley

Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm

RFE 5k winners

Tyler Smith (at left) was the male winner in the 5K cross-country run at the 2013 Run for Ella with a time of 22.54. Brandi Barnes filled the fe-male top spot with a time of 35.54. ~ Staff photo by Paul Henry

A beautiful day was on hand for the 5th Annual Run for Ella as more than 150 runners and walkers participated in this year’s 5K, 10K and 1-mile walk.

Proceeds from the event continue to support children and their families in the area who are in crisis dealing with critical health issues and injuries. Through the past four events, RFE has generated more than $52,000 for a variety of causes.

This year’s proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of Harper Bagley who is in a battle at a very young age.

Harper was born on July 22, 2013, to Owen and Jill Bagley. During a routine ultrasound on Jill the week before Harper was born, an unknown mass was noticed within the baby. After delivery, the doctors at Huntsville Hospital did an ultrasound and MRI – a 6×7-cm mass was detected on the baby’s adrenal gland.

When Harper was fewer than 72 hours old, the doctors performed an exploratory surgery to remove this unknown mass. After research between doctors at Huntsville Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Hospital, it was determined that the mass was congenital cystic neuroblastoma. It was benign and very rare in a child so young.

RFE 10k winners - photo

Jennifer Chaffin was the female overall winner in the 10K cross-country run of the 5th Annual Run for Ella with a time of 59.25. Doug Daniel was the male winner with a time of 47.02. ~ Staff photo by Paul Henry

After several days’ stay in the NIICU, Harper came home with her mom and dad. Appointments and tests were scheduled for Harper at St. Jude the following week. After several days of testing, including blood work, bone scans, bone marrow aspiration and an MIBG test, the diagnosis was confirmed that the neuroblastoma was found to be nowhere else in Harper’s body.

One week later, during a follow-up visit, small tumors were discovered in Harper’s liver. The infant has since undergone additional testing as well as chemotherapy, which is continuing.

Friends and family ask the community to continue to keep Harper, Jill and Owen in their prayers.

For complete race results in the 5th Annual Run for Ella, go to http://runforella.com/.