Five weeks after a single lung transplant, Kayla Baker rolled through the halls of Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital Saturday as hundreds walked or ran along the Bob McMullen Trail in Cambridge for the inaugural Run aLung 3 to 5 km Walk/Run.
The goal of the event is to raise $50,000 for the rehab center at Sick Kids and also awareness about organ donations.
Many of those walking and running Saturday have a connection with the 15-year-old and her family.
Kayla Baker as seen in this video still from January 2013.
“Kayla goes to school with my daughter at St. Benedict’s.” Tammy Fundak says.
Family friend Trish Main calls Kayla’s a fighter.
“She’s done a lot for a lot of people, it doesn’t take much to do a little something for her and make her dream come true.” Main says.
Kayla’s father Frank says she feels the support from all those cheering her on.
“When she’s not feeling well, I’ll read the posts that are on ‘New Lungs for Kayla’ on Facebook and I think a lot of that really helps her manage each day.” Baker says.
Kayla was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis, a rare lung disease at the age of 11. This disease is the consequence of chemotherapy she received when she battled cancer, starting at the age of 18 months. She spent two years on a waiting list for new lungs with an oxygen tank attached to her.
This past April, the City of Cambridge went green in support of Kayla as she recovered from a lung transplant. From lamp posts, to benches, to trees, everything was covered with a green bow.