Lace up your sneakers! Annual Wolfson Children’s Challenge race to come back Saturday

The 15th annual Wolfson Children’s Challenge race is only a week away, and the man behind it all is sharing his testimony to encourage others to participate before registration closes on Wednesday.

The money raised on this race will go toward helping kids get the rehabilitation care they need as they face challenges.

Paul Wilson started the Wolfson Children’s Challenge after his then-newborn son underwent life-saving surgery.

He participated in it religiously every year, until a serious bunion in his foot forced him to take a step back.

The bunion made it hard to walk, or even wear shoes, Wilson said.

“That was really hard. I feel like it did cause some depression for me. It was very hard to see that because how this event started and we would run every year, and then I’m standing on the sidelines not able to run,” Wilson said.

RELATED | More than $80,000 raised during this year’s Wolfson Children’s Challenge Telethon

Thanks to his own life-changing surgery a couple of years ago, Wilson is lacing up his running shoes again, and he couldn’t be happier.

“Gratitude. I’m just so grateful that there’s opportunities out there to help us,” Wilson said.

That help came from a procedure called Lapiplasty. Unlike traditional bunion surgery, a Lapiplasty involves the placement of titanium plates and screws to rotate the impacted bone back to its natural position.

Wilson had this procedure done at Treace Medical Concepts in Nocatee.

“I’ve had no pain at all. No problems since,” Wilson said.

Now, Wilson can do the one thing he’s missed most: participate in the Wolfson Children’s Challenge.

Fifteen years ago, Wilson’s son, Luke, was rushed to Wolfson for a corrective spinal surgery shortly after birth.

A week later, Luke developed hydrocephalus in the brain.

Thanks to the care he received, Luke made a full recovery.

That inspired Paul to launch the Wolfson Children’s Challenge.

The money goes right toward patient treatment.

Even though it’s a run — Wilson said it’s also a party and celebration.

“I think it’s for families that sometimes, you feel like you’re out on an island a little bit. You’re dealing with the challenges that you’re going through with your child, and you see there’s so many others out there, it’s kind of like a nice community coming together,” Wilson said.

Luke is now 15 years old, healthy and thriving.

Having watched his oldest son overcome a challenge early in life, and his own journey toward healing, Wilson has a message for those who want to help others.

“Follow your heart. If you feel something tugging at it, go for it, and see what happens,” Wilson said.

Wilson said with his comeback, he’s planning to run the challenge’s original 55-mile distance next Saturday, and he wants to raise his own additional $55,000.

Click here to support Wilson’s personal goal of individually raising $55,000.

Click here if you want to register for the Wolfson Children’s Challenge. 

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