Kids and corgis gathered behind the starting line Sunday morning, ready to race for a good cause. Both young and furry athletes alike, gathered in Playfair Park for the Zootown Kids Triathlon to swim, bike, and run for a family in need.
"We are also doing a fundraiser for a franklin family who has a two-year-old boy with stomach cancer so we thought a corgi race would bring in more awareness and fund raise more money" Franklin 4th grade teacher , Rachel Danielson said.
Caden Hedahl, also known as squish, is a two year old boy battling stomach cancer. His family is currently in Colorado where he is being treated, but back home in Missoula there is a whole community rallying behind him.
"All the proceeds from the triathlon will go to the family to help bear the medical expenses.” Franklin school councilor Crystal Thompson said.
Squish's two older brothers both go to Franklin Elementary School, where their teachers wanted to help out in any way they could
"they are such a committed family and they are so concerned about their kid's and squishes health.” Franklin teacher and Zootown Kids Triathlon coordinator, Wendy Melvin said.
Squish is part way into his radiation treatment and will be starting chemo therapy soon. His family tells us his body is responding to the treatment well.
“I know that he is part way into radiation he is responding really well and his aunt said yesterday it is miraculous how well his body is responding to the treatment,” Thompson said, "He’s a two year old so he somehow meets this as an adventure and they are really proud of him and wrapped pretty tight around him.”
And people in the community hope their efforts help will also wrap squish in support.
"I wish squish the best of luck and I’m glad the community of Missoula can help out a kid like that who can use a little extra boost of moral and financial support so its great to have people in missoula do those things” Corgi racer Allen Hay said.
If you want to help out Squish and his family you can hit the donate button on the Zootown Kids Triathlon website or bring your donations to the Missoula Federal Credit Union and donate to the Hedahl family account.