This past Monday would have been Paige Alessandro's 7th birthday.
The middle child of Steve (HHS '87) and Heather, bravely battled a spinal vascular disease her entire life and suffered a very severe spinal stroke in 2008. After overcoming many obstacles, Paige died peacefully last May from acute liver failure which was more than likely a complication of her disease.
Judy and Rick Alessandro, of Fort Thomas, were Paige's grandparents.
"She was 6 years old and was just finishing up her kindergarten year when she became ill," said Judy Alessandro. "Paige was always the center of attention - laughing, smiling and taking pure joy in the happiness of others."
Obviously losing Paige so suddenly was a devastating blow to the family and nothing could or would replace her memory. In the hopes that they could continue the healing process, the Alessandro family is organizing a 5K run on May 21 - called Paige's Princess Run - to help raise money for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital OT/PT department.
"Princess" because Paige loved dressing up and playing as her favorite princess. The 5K runners are encouraged to dress in their favorite princess paraphernalia. There will be a 5K road run, a kids fun run and a family walk at 9, 10 and 11 am, respectively, on May 21st at Wyandot Early Childhood Center in Liberty Township. There will also be inflatables, carnival games, hair & nails, face painting, snow cones, cotton candy, skyline hot dogs, snacks, drinks, beer raffles, cool critters outreach, DJ music, macaroni kids crafts and basket raffles.
From Paige's Princess Run website:
(The Alessandro's) mission is to continue Paige’s legacy by inspiring others and helping those with struggles in life. Paige had a very close relationship with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital OT/PT department, sometimes visiting them up to four times a week. As you would think that a six year old would tire and complain of therapy, Paige loved it. She looked so forward to seeing her therapists and finding out what game they would play with her or what craft they would make.
Paige’s Memorial Fund beneficiary for her 2011 Princess Walk will be Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. All proceeds from the walk will be donated to the OT/PT department for use within the Lokomat program.
"This has been a horrible year and I have no more tears left. We lost a princess that was very important to us. Maybe we will feel better after the run," said Alessandro.
If you'd like more information on Paige's Princess Run or if you'd like to donate to the cause, the website is here.