Daniel’s Race honors the legacy of 16-year-old with melanoma
Imagine running 5 kilometers.
Now, imagine running 5 kilometers while you’re in the midst of fighting for your life against an opponent you can’t even see.
That’s exactly what Daniel Myslivecek did when he ran in the inaugural Daniel’s Race, which took place in 2006, two years after he had been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma at the age of 14. Despite being in the midst of chemotherapy treatment, Daniel, an athletic young man, crossed the finish line in just over 30 minutes.
When medical bills began piling up, friends and family came to the aid of the Mysliveceks, and the idea for the 5 kilometer road race was hatched.
“At that time, Daniel was in the middle of all of his chemotherapy and we were flying all over the country trying to get the latest and greatest treatments that were available,” said Dean Myslivecek, Daniel’s father. “We were caught up in that, trying to manage his health care and not focus on his finances.”
Daniel’s Race, which was started by friends and former soccer teammates of Daniel’s, honors the courage and strength that the entire Myslivecek family showed while their eldest child and brother was enduring chemotherapy and treatment for his melanoma.
Dean and his wife, Tammie, say that there is no way they could have gotten through this difficult time without the support of Daniel’s friends, who organized the race.
The Daniel’s Race committee is dedicated to completing a $25,000 commitment for a caregiver alcove in on the 7th floor of the new children’s hospital.
“Being able to see Daniel’s name in the new children’s hospital has made us realize the good that we are doing, and that it’s truly something the community enjoys,” said Kevin Bauer, a friend of Daniel’s and an active committee member. “Race day is never an easy day for any of us. The turnout and support from the community pushes us to carry on his legacy while helping out kids who are in a similar situation that Daniel was.”
“We are really fortunate to have such a wonderful institution here in Rochester,” said Dean. “Too many people take for granted what we have or may not know what we have. The hospital not only meets the needs of the children, but the entire family. We are dedicated to supporting the hospital in any way we can.”
Daniel’s fight against melanoma brought a community together, many of which still trek to Churchville-Chili High School every April to honor his memory. To date, Daniel’s 5K has raised over $100,000 for charities in the Rochester area.