Fund Raisers for Daughter of MPD Officer

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By Terry Rogers

In October 2016, Shawn and Missy Brittingham learned that their then three-year old daughter, Gabriella, had a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma. Shawn is a police officer with Milford Police Department and his wife is a teacher in Cape Henlopen School District. Gabriella also has a big brother and sister, Anthony and Olivia. In an effort to assist the Brittingham’s with the cost of treatment and lost time from work as they sought the best treatment possible for Gabriella, Kirk Marino set up a GoFundMe page to raise $100,000. To date, the page has raised $44,729 of that goal.

“The Brittingham family are dealing with many challenges, including the financial burden of lost time from work, travel costs and lodging as they transport Gabriella back and forth to AI Dupont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington,” Mr. Marino said. “We are asking not only for donations to assist this wonderful family, but also for prayers for Gabriella’s healing. We want to provide the family with some financial security so they can spend less time worrying about money and work and more time at Gabriella’s side while she fights this disease.”

In addition to the Go Fund Me page, Seashore Striders has dedicated the 10th Annual Race for the Ribbon 5k Run and Walk on July 15 to Gabriella’s family. The race starts and finishes on the corner of Wilmington Avenue and the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. The Greene Turtle hosts the post-race party which includes a breakfast buffet, silent auction, music and prizes. The Race is part of the Summer Racing Series and the first event of the new Greene Turtle Racing Series. Registration includes the buffet breakfast, water stops and medals for those who place in various categories. Custom designed Technical Performance unisex t-shirts are guaranteed for pre-registrants or while supplies last.

“The Brittingham’s are wonderful parents to three amazing kids,” race director Tim Bamforth, said. “Gabriella’s tumor was located in her right calf and she began chemotherapy a week after her October diagnosis. After testing in December, the tumor was found to have shrunk and the treatment plan was to remove the tumor in month three. Radiation was not an option because of the location of the tumor. On January 9, to make sure the entire tumor was gone, Gabriella had her lower right leg removed. Chemotherapy will continue to make sure all possible cancer is gone. Gabriella’s journey has been long, but with the love, support and prayers of her family, friends and the community, Gabriella has been doing wonderfully.”

The first Race for the Ribbon was held on a foggy, cool day in May in 2008 at the Cape Henlopen State Park. Since then, the course location has changed along with the date the race is held, but the meaning of the race has always been the same. The event was created by Stephanie Shuttleworth in honor of her mother, Nancy L. Hendershot who died of cancer in 2008. Proceeds from the race go to the American Cancer Society as well as to the Brittingham family. This year’s race is on course to raise more than $100,000.

Pre-registration for the run/walk is $22 until July 13 at 6 PM and can be made by mail to Seashore Striders/The Ribbons 5k, PO Box 99, Nassau DE  19969. Online registration is available until June 13 at www.seashorestriders.com. The day of the race, registration is $25 and those who wish to participate can register from 6 to 7:25 AM. The race begins at 7:30 AM. Registration fees the day of the race must be paid in cash or check. Sponsorships for the event are available through July 1, 2017 and those interested in sponsoring the race should contact Seashore Striders at tim@seashorestriders.com.

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