On and around Valentine’s Day – an estimated 30,000 runners in 38 cities across the country (including Baltimore) as well as participants in Australia will be braving the cold…in just their undies.
Cupid’s Undie Run, the nation’s largest underwear run, will be held on Valentine’s Day with a goal of raising $3 million for Neurofibromatosis (NF) research and the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF).
At first glance, spectators, friends, and family question the sanity of these wacky men and women. But for them, putting the hilarity in charity is a way to support people suffering from a rare genetic disorder.
Meg Rowe was diagnosed with NF, which causes tumors to grow on and in the body, when she was just eight-years-old. Her battle with NF has not been an easy one, and when she was younger had a large tumor removed from the base of her spine, which would have left her paralyzed if it was not removed. Today, she has hundreds of tiny neurofibromas on her face and torso in addition to countless internal tumors.
Despite this reality, Meg focuses on living. She loves her friends and family, traveling and checking items off her “Bucket List,” including skydiving. Until April of 2012, Meg lived a relatively normal life. That month, she learned that one of her internal tumors transformed into a rare and aggressive sarcoma that only affects about four percent of those with NF. There is no cure for this cancer. She endured three major surgeries, seven weeks of radiation, an emergency abdomen surgery, and months of chemo. She enjoyed eight months of remission before the cancer returned and metastasized to her lungs and pelvis. Meg is hopeful that a new chemo drug will keep the disease from spreading any further until a better treatment comes along. And despite all of this, Meg chooses to live. She does not know how much longer she will be alive, but chooses to take advantage of every day. It only takes a moment in Meg’s presence to see that she is a truly incredible woman.
Inspired by tremendously strong individuals like Meg, Cupid’s Undie Run returns to Baltimore on February 14. The event is a fun celebration with a “brief” one-mile run in the middle. Baltimore’s event will take place at Power Plant Live. Rogue fundraisers celebrate and strip down before taking to the streets for a jog through the cold in their underwear. Participants spend months leading up to the event raising money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation and NF research.
Each of the 38 race cities has been assigned an NF Hero. Meg is Baltimore’s and serves as inspiration to fundraisers as they prepare for February.
Recently, there was a truly inspiring piece on Meg and her story. The segment can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywzCwnOQOIo&sns=em.
To learn more about the event, visit www.cupidsundierun.com.