In January 2008, life was good for Adam and Katheryn Richards. The couple was raising their first child, a beautiful 9-month-old baby girl, And they'd just moved into a new house.
But one day, their daughter, Stella got sick at daycare, and shortly afterward doctors discovered she had a tumor growing in her stomach.
"A bubbly, bouncy baby one afternoon, was two days later, they had to induce her into a coma and she never came out of it," said Adam Richards.
Stella died in February. Devastated, the Richards looked for a way both to numb the pain, and remember their daughter.
The answer came out of those three emotionally taxing weeks they spent by her side in the hospital.
"We became neighbors with those other parents in the ICU, and a lot of them didn't have the support system we did," said Katheryn Richards.
"We could see there were children there that were spending time by themselves whether it was overnight or during the day, and I'm sure those people didn't have any choice but to go to work," said Adam Richards.
And so out of Stella's death, a foundation in her name was born. The Stella B. Foundation aims to keep families of sick children by their side- and not worrying about how to pay the bills.
"We can't completely financially assist a family, but we can usually pay some rent or some mortgage, we can pay some utilities, we can buy a grocery card," said Adam Richards.
They say the families offer heartfelt thanks, and often end up at future fundraisers.
Their latest fundraiser will take place Sunday morning; the 5K race and family fun walk will start and end at the Blue Monk on Elmwood Avenue.
Registration in advance is not neccessary; participants who want to run or walk need to arrive by 10 a.m. The race starts at 11:30.
The cost is $20 to walk and $25 to run.
Participants will receive a free t-shirt.
For more information, visit the Stella B Foundation's website.