This year’s Carnival for the Cure exceeded its goal in raising more than $66,000 to fund research to cure pediatric brain cancer.
The fourth annual event, which was Saturday at Ceraland Park, is a tribute to the memory of 5-year-old Peyton Whittington, who succumbed to a brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Known as DIPG, Peyton had an inoperable tentacle-like tumor that encased his brain stem. He died on June 4, 2013, in the arms of his mother, Lynn Whittington.
After his death, Whittington created Peyton’s Angels Indiana Chapter of the Cure Starts Now Foundation to raise money for researchers to learn how to fight brain cancers that kill children. Whittington started Carnival for the Cure as a way to raise money for research.
This year’s event attracted about 1,000 people, Whittington said, and was supported by more than 100 volunteers who staffed carnival booths and other attractions.
Whittington said she was particularly grateful for the volunteer’s efforts, saying the success of the event would not be possible without them.
This year’s goal was to raise $50,000, and far exceeded that, Whittington said. Carnival for the Cure raised about $47,000 in 2016.
The event included a balloon release, with red balloons that Peyton loved, which included information about Peyton and the effort to fund research to find a cure for DIPG. A fireworks display called “Blast Off for Peyton” concluded the event at dusk.
Whittington said she is grateful for all the people in the community who continue to remember Peyton while helping organizers raise money to find a cure. Proceeds from the event during the past three years are part of a $2 million fund that is being used to pay for DIPG research to find a cure, she said.