Grand Canyon University Joins Max's Ring of Fire, The Ronan Thompson Foundation to Fight Childhood Cancer

Oct. 26 Run to Fight Children's Cancer to support San Diego families battling the disease

Oct 17, 2013, 12:00 ET from Grand Canyon University

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Canyon University, the Southwest's premier private Christian university, has teamed up with local nonprofit organization Max's Ring of Fire, along with The Ronan Thompson Foundation, to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer. The trio will host San Diego's inaugural Run to Fight Children's Cancer on Oct. 26 at NTC Park at Liberty Station.

The event will feature a 5k run/walk, one-mile family run and quarter-mile Cancer Survivors' Walk to honor children who have beaten cancer, those who are still fighting, and those who have lost their battle with the disease.

Each year in California, more than 1,500 children and young adults are diagnosed with cancer, and 320 children die from the disease, yet pediatric cancer continues to be the most underfunded category of all cancer research.

"Far too many families here and across the nation face the same nightmare that struck our family when our son, Max, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma," said Andy Mikulak, founder and chairman of Max's Ring of Fire, which is dedicated to pediatric cancer research. "The Run to Fight Children's Cancer will help us raise critical dollars to fund new research and bring innovative treatments to children battling this horrible disease."

In 2011, GCU hosted its first Run to Fight Children's Cancer in Phoenix and the event quickly became Arizona's largest and most successful run dedicated solely to pediatric cancer. In just two years, the run has attracted more than 8,500 participants and raised nearly $200,000 for children and families battling the disease.

"Whether it's in Arizona or neighboring communities, we are unwavering in our mission to provide financial and emotional support to families during such a difficult time," said Sussely Morales, GCU's race director.

Morales expects the San Diego run to attract 1,500 participants, with proceeds benefiting the university's nonprofit partners.

Runners and walkers can raise funds by asking friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to support their efforts on race day. All runners and walkers will receive a sport tech running shirt, a finisher's medal and shoelaces in gold – the color of childhood cancer awareness.

"Not only is this an inspirational event, it's also a fun family day," Morales said. "We have music, food, games and more. The kids are the heroes, and we want this day to be about them."

For details or to register, visit

Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited and emphasizes individual attention for both traditional undergraduate students and the working professional. GCU offers traditional programs on its growing campus, as well as online bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs.  The University's curriculum fuses academic and clinical rigor with Christian values to prepare its students to be skilled, caring professionals. For more information about GCU, visit

Max's Ring of Fire, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt public charity, is a pediatric cancer fundraising and advocacy organization that supports innovative pediatric cancer research and clinical trials. The organization is dedicated to funding practical, relevant Phase I and II clinical trials, which are based on research from the University of Vermont, University of Texas/M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Hawaii, UCSD, the Van Andel Institute, among others. For more information, visit

The Ronan Thompson Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to finding a cure for neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer. The organization is raising funds for a world-class neuroblastoma research and care center dedicated to traditional and non-traditional treatments to reduce the number of children affected by this disease and increase survival rates. For more information, visit

SOURCE Grand Canyon University