Hospital Heroes Compete in a Marathon of their Own: Caroline Mizer

September 21, 2020

In a typical year, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon consists of more than 10,000 runners from around the world competing for personal best times on the 26.2-mile course that winds through the streets of Akron. In a typical year, the course is lined with spectators and Akron Children’s Hospital Heroes who inspire runners with their determination to overcome medical obstacles. But 2020 is anything but a typical year. For the first time in the Akron Marathon’s 18-year history it will be held virtually, and the blue line will be void of spectators and heroes. This year, 2,000 runners, including 87 FirstEnergy employees, are participating in the virtual marathon on their date of choice between Sept. 26 and Oct. 31. To provide virtual motivation to our FirstEnergy runners – and all of us who are cheering for our heroes’ wellbeing – we’ll feature updates on our former Akron Children’s Hospital Heroes who continue to inspire us with their drive and determination. Check back Tuesday through Thursday for updates on Elise Bonsky, Rylee Kulick and Brayden McDonald.

Caroline Mizer

In 2016, Akron Children’s Hospital Hero Zones began appearing along the racecourse featuring patients who are real-life superheroes. That’s the year we introduced our first hero, Caroline Mizer, daughter of Kevin Mizer, manager of program development, Emerging Technologies.

Caroline was 12 years old when she wore her cape in the FirstEnergy Hero Zone in downtown Akron. As runners passed by, Caroline and her family cheered on the racers and encouraged them to power to the finish line located at Canal Park baseball stadium. At a young age, Caroline knew a lot about persevering through a tough challenge. She was just 3 when she was diagnosed with optic nerve tumors that eventually led to her loss of vision. Through Akron Children’s Hospital, Caroline underwent chemotherapy treatments every week for 72 weeks. After a long medical journey, Caroline is now 16 and has been in remission for 10 years from the bilateral optic glioma tumors that compromised her sight. She is entering her junior year at Revere High School and spends her spare time as a true teenager – listening to music, hanging out with her friends, and spending time with her rabbit, Bandit. Kevin said, “As a family we have many fond memories of Caroline’s Hero experience and thank Akron Children’s Hospital and FirstEnergy for such great opportunity.”

See Caroline’s 2016 hero profile.

Read additional information on this year’s virtual FirstEnergy Akron Marathon.

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