Local students' walk-a-thon to cure JM - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

THURSDAY, February 4, 2010

Local students' walk-a-thon to cure JM

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ENCINITAS, Calif. (CBS 8) - It's a labor of love by some schoolchildren in Encinitas. They're putting on their running shoes to help out a friend in need.

Eleven-year-old Parker Hume can't run with his classmates, but that's not stopping 500 of them from running for him.

Parker has juvenile myositis, a disease that affects two kids out of one million.

"Your body attacks itself. It's an autoimmune disease," Cure JM founder Shari Hume said.

Though it's hard to believe it looking at him today, at the age of four the disease attacked with a vengeance.

"He couldn't walk anymore. All of a sudden he was four years old completely normal and the next day he couldn't walk," Shari said.

Shari, who's Parker's mother, had nowhere to turn and decided to start the foundation.

"We knew that we had to do something because the disease can be life threatening and it was taking it's toll on Parker," she said.

The St. John School in Encinitas held its fourth annual jog-a-thon to help raise money for research and education of the disease.

"We've raised $80,000 just from jog-a-thons the past four years," Shari said.

They raised over $14,000 just with Thursday's jog-a-thon alone.

"That's really helped set up a lot of research centers and books about this and help people know about the disease," student Cole Parsons said.

Parsons has known the very shy Parker Hume since first grade, and while Parker shied away from our cameras, Cole has no problem talking about his good friend.

"I'm glad I can have him in my life as my friend," Cole said.

Parker has been in and out of the hospital over 600 times, endured bi-weekly IV treatments with chemotherapy and much more.

His mother adds that while it appears they have a handle on the disease, there still is no cure.

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