Runners raise money for new children's hospital

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Runners hit the pavement over the weekend to get Our Lady of the Lake one step closer to a free-standing children's hospital.

"You had people... that traveled hours to participate in this, even with the threatening potential weather, they came here because they wanted to help the children," said Trey Williams, the senior director of marketing for OLOL.

Many of these runners had the hospital on their mind as they were running, like Dan Seidel, who runs with Ainsely's Angels. This group of runners push children with special needs all across the course so they get the thrill of competition.

"The reward, you know, to help someone get across the finish line that otherwise wouldn't be able to do it, it's so much worth it," Seidel said.

Seidel's son Sam suffers from mental and physical ailments after nearly drowning in a swimming pool 11 years ago. The OLOL Children's Hospital helped him through much of his recovery, so Seidel is thrilled to contribute to a new building.

"Children's hospital, to me, it has a very special meaning to me," Seidel said. "It's just real important so that's why we did it."

The current Children's Hospital shares space with the main Our Lady of the Lake facility. The new hospital will have 80 beds, and officials say it will improve the quality of care.

"It allows us to add some more sub-specialties, it helps actually attract additional doctors, and provide more services to the community," Williams said.

The new facility is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2019.

In addition to Sunday's run, a 5K and Kids Mini Marathon was held Saturday.


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