The Story Behind the Organization
In 1993, Paige Yeomans Arnold was a seemingly healthy 6 year old first grader at Palmer Elementary School in Baldwinsville NY, when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She was treated at what is now the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse NY. Paige ultimately underwent a bone marrow transplant in an effort to cure her leukemia at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1994. Sadly, complications from the transplant led to her death in August of that year.
In the Spring of 1997, her parents Chris & Ellen were approached by a group of teachers at Palmer Elementary that wished to honor Paige in what would have been her last year at the school. In short order, they decided that a walk\run event would be organized. All proceeds were slated to benefit a college scholarship fund and the Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders in Paige’s memory. The butterfly was selected as a symbol of the event not only because she was so fond of them, but because they typified her: beautiful and gentle, but strong beyond imagining.
After hosting the event from 1997-2007 at Palmer Elementary, Paige’s Butterfly Run came to downtown Syracuse in 2008 with the Taste of Syracuse Festival. In 2016, two fundraising events were added: Pedaling 4 Paige – an indoor spinning event and Clams 4 Cures Clambake.