Roy Wiegand: Going the Extra Mile for Kids

On April 13 2017 Childhood Cancer Talk Radio interviewed Roy Wiegand of Burbank CA, suburb of Los Angeles, a local free-lance  musician with an evolving career as ultra-distance runner and advocate for children with cancer.  Roy began running later in life in his early forties, and has been "ultra-running" for about 7 years now, prompted initially by his association through his church with an Ethiopian gentleman who was visiting to raise awareness for the urgent need for clean water access in his native country.   This inspired his church to host a 100-mile bike ride with Roy leading the effort to make this event a staple fundraiser for the charity Lifewater, and challenge to riders with at 12,000 foot gain in elevation for the event.

Running for causes came naturally to Roy so that when he came across the Wilke family and their son Christopher, a boy-scout friend of Roy's son who had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer with little hope for survival, he was inspired to run and raise funds for the local foundation supporting the Wilke family in their struggle.  The Michael Hoefflin Foundation in Santa Clarita, CA, supports local families fighting childhood cancer in Southern California, and Roy has now run to raise funds for the foundation for the past four years.  June 14th 2017 he will run his fourth ultra-distance run, this being 131 miles-his longest run yet-to support the Michael Hoefflin Foundation.

 

 

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About Janet


Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.


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