EXCELSIOR — An inaugural race to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund in the memory of Maddison Mertz, of Victoria, is this weekend.

The 1-mile fun run is at 9 a.m., followed by a 5K at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17. The runs begin and end at Excelsior Brewing Company, a news release says. After the race, there will be an after party with carnival games, raffles, vendor booths and live music at the brewery.

Maddison was described as a “happy, active, beautiful, strong second-grader” who loved gymnastics, her sister, her friends, swimming, dancing, her dogs and her family, the release said. She was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, a rare and difficult cancer to treat, in November 2016.

She underwent surgery and radiation, but her cancer spread. She then had numerous rounds of chemotherapy, but she died three days after her eighth birthday.

“What I hope is that Maddison’s legacy helps, so that no one has to go through the feeling that I know. It was too much for us to beat the battle or win, but I don’t think it is too much for everybody. There has got to be a way, and there are smart people who are always trying to find answers,” Zack Mertz, Maddison’s father, said in a news release.

The event hopes to support the research efforts of Christopher Moertel and Michael Olin at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

The event’s website is https://bit.ly/2YLCZIk.

Melissa Turtinen is the multimedia reporter for Lakeshore Weekly News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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