CARLSBAD — More than 700 walkers participated in the second annual Mitchell Thorp Foundation Walkathon, recently held at Thorp Field in Poinsettia Park, and helped the organization raise over $35,000 to support children and families, suffering life-threatening illnesses. Three of the five families, who have been helped by MTF this past year, in various capacities, were present and addressed the crowd.
A simple “Thank you,” was all that Carlsbad resident Lucy Wallis could say from the podium. She is the mother of 20-month-old Izaiah Wallis, who was tragically hit by an alleged drunk driving teen a few months ago, and who is one of the recipients of the walkathon proceeds. In addition, Susan and Troy Axson, parents of young Nathan, addressed the participants on how MTF helped them through their time of need and with emotional support—and how Nathan is now cancer free. Stacy and John Quarterone also thanked the crowd and MTF for all their support. The Quarterone’s lost their son, Chase, to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year.
Cathy and Chris Reiser, with their 17-year-old son Sam, a senior at Carlsbad High, also shared how Sam is now cancer free after a year-long battle with lymphoma. He recently received stem cell therapy as part of the medical procedures.
“I do not know how we could have survived this past year,” Cathy Reiser said. “Beth and Brad (Thorpe), and the entire Mitchell Thorp Foundation, were always there for us. It meant a lot.”
In addition to monetary and emotional support, MTF aided the Reisers with a new fence, damaged from last year’s inclement weather. The organization connected the Rotary Club of Carlsbad with Gafcon Construction when they heard that the Reisers could not afford to fix the fence because of the overwhelming medical costs incurred with Sam’s illness.
This year’s walkathon also experienced, once again, the overwhelming support of the city of Carlsbad, where MTF began. Mayor Matt Hall and the entire city council welcomed participants, representing the region, followed by entertainment by Carlsbad High School’s Lancer Dancers and Excalibur dancers. The city’s fire department and police department employee associations also cooked and served refreshments to the hungry walkers during their trek, and DJ Chris Lord provided the music.
“This was truly a heartfelt event for us all,” said Beth Thorp, MTF co-founder. “We are thankful to everyone for their overwhelming support, and we will continue our efforts throughout the year.”
The Mitchell Thorp Foundation is a public, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that supports families whose children suffer from life-threatening illnesses, diseases and disorders. 90 percent of all funds raised go directly to assist qualified families — with the funds distributed directly to vendors. To learn more, or to volunteer, go to www.mitchellthorp.org or call (760) 603-8853.