One Last Run for Emily

Emily Lewis

Emily Lewis

Sunday, April 19, 2015 marked the sixth and final Emily’s Rainbow Run and Family Walk, a fundraiser in Westlake to celebrate Emily Lewis, who would have graduated from high school this year. Emily, a beautiful and courageous girl with a beaming smile, passed away in 2009 from kidney cancer when she was 12 years old.

Her parents, John and Debbie Lewis, founded Emily’s Rainbow Run and Family Walk to honor their daughter and help other families coping with a child’s cancer. The run/walk has raised more than $165,000 since its founding to support vital pediatric cancer research at the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Like her parents, Emily was an advocate for children in need. Despite her cancer diagnosis, Emily devoted a great amount of time and energy to causes benefiting other children with cancer, including Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital; Wigs for Kids; and Flying Horse Farms, a camp for children with medical conditions such as cancer and heart conditions. Emily’s fundraising efforts were honored by UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital with the creation of The Emily Lewis Youth in Philanthropy Award, presented each year to a youth exhibiting the same passion and dedication to fundraising.

At this year’s Rainbow Run, participants once again wore buttons with Emily’s photo so they would symbolically bring Emily with them to the finish line. Emily took part in the first Rainbow Run, which was held less than four months before her passing.

Even though the final race has ended, you can still make a donation in Emily’s honor to benefit children of all ages with pediatric cancer. Visit

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