By Liz Shepherd
WINONA LAKE — Hundreds participated in the ‘Fear is a Liar! Pay’s 5K’ color run/walk on Saturday, Oct. 16, in Winona Lake Limitless Park.
Proceeds from the race benefitted Fear is a Liar Ministries, which was established in honor of Payton Slaymaker. Payton passed away at the age of 10 on April 21 of this year after losing her battle with a rare brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
Funds from the race, in turn, will go to The Cure Starts Now, an organization that funds cancer research.
The majority of those in attendance wore white T-shirts emblazoned with a brightly colored ‘Fear is a Liar! Pay’s 5K’ logo.
Prior to the race beginning, Christi Ziebarth, a former art teacher, spoke about the butterfly mural she painted in honor of Payton at Winona Lake Limitless Park.
“I love this community even more after I’ve seen how y’all pull together and show love to everyone,” said Ziebarth. “That’s what we’re here for.”
Keith Desserich, one of the co-founders of The Cure Starts Now, also was in attendance and spoke before the race.
“I lost my daughter to DIPG 14 years ago and at the time, there was nothing out there,” said Desserich. “There was only one expert, there was no research, there was no community. What we sought to do was to try to unify with other parents in the hopes of actually making something. The Cure Starts Now is not just about one cancer, but it’s about also focusing on the implications for all types of cancer and eliminating it completely.”
Following the walkers’ and runners’ returns, there was a balloon release for Payton, who would have turned 11 on Sunday, Oct. 17.