In early May, Codner and his wife Tristan received a phone call that Andrew had a bed waiting for him in the hematology and oncology unit of the hospital.
Codner’s run served to show his appreciation to the hospital staff that has turned a traumatic experience like cancer treatment into one his young son faces bravely, Codner says.
“The folks at Akron Children’s have taken something that should be scary and terrifying and made it this amazing badge of honor to recognize the superhero that he is,” Codner told CNN. “We couldn’t think of a better thing to contribute to and spend time trying to help raise funds to ensure that all kids have access to the same amazing experience as Andrew has had at Akron Children’s.”
On the day of the race, Codner wrote Andrew’s name on the top of his running shoes to keep him motivated. Friends and family were stationed outside the hospital to cheer him on, in a course that took 5 hours and 35 laps to complete. His son was even able to run with him across the finish line and award him a medal.
“To see him running and doing that last lap with me was just incredible,” Codner said.
Dr. Megan Sampson, a pediatric oncologist who has treated Andrew at the hospital, praises the Codner family.
“It just amazed me that during this scary time that he was thinking about doing this,” said Sampson, referring to Codner’s run and the attention he has drawn to the hospital’s work.
Andrew’s prognosis is good and he’s responding well to the treatment he has received, but he still has a long way to go, Sampson says.