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Annual Run With The Heroes Goes Virtual

Fifth Annual Run with the Heroes Goes Virtual Benefiting George’s Pass Autism Program

MADERA – Valley Children’s annual Run with the Heroes event goes virtual this year, allowing families who have been impacted by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to connect safely, bring light to Autism Awareness Month and support George’s Pass.

Register through runwiththeheroes.com. Families can complete their virtual Run with the Heroes activity through April 30. Registration is $20 for adults; children 12 and younger are free. All registered adults receive a race t-shirt, children 12 and younger get a George’s Pass superhero cape and each registered participant will receive a commemorative medal. (Note: T-shirts are only guaranteed to adults who register by April 17.)

Activities can be anything fitness related, including a run on the treadmill, bike ride or walk around the neighborhood or a fitness class on Zoom. Throughout the month of April, participants are invited to download a special “I run for” certificate and then post it on social media. This year’s event has the capacity to include, for the first time ever, friends and loved ones across the country.

Distribution of packets will take place Friday, April 30, from noon – 6 p.m., and Saturday, May 1, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., in the parking lot area on the west side of the Valley Children’s Hospital campus. George’s Pass teams will set up drive-through stations that will ensure social distancing and other safety protocols are maintained. Masks are mandatory during packet distribution.

Valley Children’s George’s Pass program was founded in 2014 to make a positive impact on the hospital surgical experience for children with ASD, the fastest growing developmental disability in the nation. It includes processes and resources for staff, parents and patients to create a better, more individualized experience for all involved.

“Among the challenges we have faced over the last year due to the pandemic, feeling isolated, disconnected, confused and stressed can be the reality for many people. These feelings can be especially true for a family whose child is diagnosed with ASD,” says George’s Pass Founder Shelly Reyes. “After a year of uncertainty, our community is seeking to reconnect with others and remedy these feelings that have been magnified during these unprecedented times, now more than ever.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 54 children are identified with ASD. It can occur in all racial, social and ethnic groups, and boys are four times more likely to be impacted. Over the years, Run with the Heroes has created a welcoming, all-inclusive and sensory-friendly environment for children and their families.

About Valley Children’s Healthcare

Valley Children’s Healthcare – one of the largest pediatric healthcare networks in the nation – provides Central California’s only high-quality, comprehensive care exclusively for children, from before birth to young adulthood. Our network offers highly specialized medical and surgical services to care for children with conditions ranging from common to the highly complex at its 330-bed stand-alone children’s hospital or in one of their three neonatal units (28 beds) located across the Valley. In addition, the Valley Children’s Healthcare network includes specialty care centers, pediatric primary care practices, urgent care center and women’s health services.


Our family-centered, pediatric services extend from a leading pediatric cancer and blood diseases center on the West Coast, and a pediatric heart center known for its expertise and pioneering treatments, to a Regional Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the highest level referral center between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.


Valley Children’s was the first children’s hospital west of the Rockies to receive Magnet Nursing designation, the highest nursing benchmark in the world. In 2020, U.S. News and World Report named Valley Children’s one of the best children’s hospitals in the country in seven pediatric specialties. With more than 640 physicians and 3,500 staff, Valley Children’s delivers high-quality, comprehensive care to more than 1.3 million from Kern County to the Capital and from the Central Coast to the Sierra.


For more information, please visit www.valleychildrens.org

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