Dad Who Lost Son Runs for Rome 2 Year-Old Fighting Leukemia
A father who lost his son to cancer runs to not only keep his memory alive but other kids battling cancer too. Rik Zortman, who is known as the Human Etch a Sketch recently ran for Mya, the Rome child fighting a losing leukemia battle.
Armstrong lost his battle in 2009 to brain cancer and Zortman says after his son died he picked up running. "I wanted to do something that would remind me of him. It's my one on one time with him and a nice way to go out and do something in his honor."
In September, Zortman had the idea of using the Map My Run app to run his son's name for childhood cancer awareness month.
His goal was to follow it up by running 100 kids names in 30 days. "I put it out on social media to see if there was any interest. After day two I had well over 40 names and I've already ran for almost 250 kids. There was one day in September I actually ran 7 names. It was over 16 miles.
One of those kids was Mya Corigliano of Rome. She's been battling leukemia since she was only 13 weeks old. After 15 months and one hell of a fight, Mya isn't expected to make Christmas. Zortman heard Mya's story and decided to run in her honor. "It was pretty awesome to run it and figure out how I was going to do it. When I got done I was like 'that looks pretty awesome.'"
"Mya is a local hero and has a bigger support system than I could have ever dreamed possible," says Mya's mom Brandi Corigliano. That support system now reaches as far as Iowa, where Zortman calls home. "It's a honor for me to now only share my story but to be able to do this for others and run a name for somebody and pay it forward.