They may not have the medical know-how to help Isaac Steiner.
But the 6-year-old’s friends, acquaintainces and schoolmates want him and his family to know they care. They gathered Saturday at Jefferson Elementary School in Jefferson Township for a five-kilometer run, a one-mile walk and a bake sale — to raise funds and let the family know their backs are covered.
“I can’t imagine going through anything like this. We’re trying to give them hope,” said Robin Tahara Miller of Middlebury, one of hundreds of runners and walkers who took part. “It is a sad story and we’re just praying for a miracle.”
Isaac, who lives with his family in Jefferson Township north of Goshen and attends Jefferson Elementary, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011. He faced exhausting rounds of treatment and had seemed on the mend.
But then the cancer took a turn for a worse and has come back “full force,” said Dustin Kaehr of Goshen, a family friend who was helping out Saturday. It’s a heart-breaking situation, and many want to do what they can to help, he said, which led to Saturday’s event, one of many fundraising efforts in recent months to help the Steiners cover their considerable expenses.
“People kept going, ‘What can we do?’ People just want to help,” said Kaehr.
Many runners and walkers sported blue shirts reading “I know someone who needs a cure” on the front and “Isaac nation” on the back. There were runners from the Northridge High School cross-country team, families, children in strollers and more.
“The support is amazing,” said Miller. “If it was based on support alone, Isaac would have been cured 15 months ago.”
In all around 600 had registered to walk or run shortly before the event started, said Andrea LeSeure, president of the Jefferson Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, though the crowd seemed much larger. The bake sale generated the donation of around 300 dozen cookies, spread out over several tables.
Isaac’s father, Rob Steiner, and older brother Jonah were on hand Saturday, according to Kaehr. Isaac, younger brother Eli and Isaac’s mom, Sarah Steiner, remained at home.