Boise's Undie Run to help kids with devastating disease

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by Justin Corr

KREM.com

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 7:58 AM

BOISE -- When a Boise mom heard her baby daughter had a genetic disease that could lead to cancer, blindness or deafness, she decided to help by running... in her underwear.

Hayley and Dominic Brown have a son, Gust, and a 2-year-old daughter, Nora. They're a normal family, and Nora is a healthy little girl. But, that may not always be the case.

"Nora was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis when she was about three months old," said Hayley.

She and her husband had no idea what that was, but quickly found out.

"Tumors grow on nerves throughout the body," said Hayley. "They can end up anywhere, on the spine, in the brain, leading to, often blindness, deafness, learning disability, behavioral disorders, bone defects, and a host of other problems."

"It's pretty disheartening," said Dominic. "It's quite a burden to bear. It's one of those things where she's in fine health right now, it's something that can kick in, at really, any point in her life."

They felt somewhat helpless, until Hayley saw something called Cupid's Undie Run on the national news. It was hundreds of people running through the freezing cold streets, in their underwear.

"It was as if it spoke to me, and said, 'This is what you need to do.'"

The Cupid's Undie Run is a fundraiser for the Children's Tumor Foundation, which wants to find a cure for Neurofibromatosis, and help kids like Nora.

"100% of the fundraised dollars goes to the children's tumor foundation," said Hayley.

So, Hayley applied and lobbied to have Boise be one of the host cities. Out of 80 entries, only 11 cities were chosen. Boise was one of them.

It's the world's largest organized underwear run.

"The underwear part is to raise awareness," Haley said. "If you run in your underwear in the middle of Winter, people are going to wonder why, and that gets people's attention. And, that's what we want. Because, there's not much known about Neurofibromatosis. Many people don't know about it at all. We didn't know about it, however, it's very common. 1 in 3000 births end up with Neurofibromatosis."

Hayley, now the race director, says hundreds of people have already signed up to brave the cold in their skivvies, all to help some kids most of them don't know.

"It is going to be overwhelming," she said. "I have a feeling I am going to spend a lot of time holding back tears and emotions, because I already, on a daily basis, am brought to tears by people's willingness to give and to help, and to drop everything for this great cause."

The Undie Run happens on February 15th at 2pm in downtown Boise. To register, click here.

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