CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Thanksgiving is especially meaningful for one family in Philipsburg. They are grateful their daughter Emily is still here.

Back in 2010, when she was 5, she came down with Leukemia. Conventional treatment didn’t work, but Emily was the first person in the world to receive CAR-T cell therapy.

This morning, the Emily White Foundation held a turkey trot to raise awareness for pediatric cancer immunotherapy research. A three-and-a-half mile run came to an end with Philipsburg-Osceola senior Chad Muckey winning gold in 18:39. 

“There’s a lot of great, local turkey trots in the area and I thought why don’t we have one here I was hoping we would get maybe 20 runners but we have over 70 people here this morning so I’m super excited about the turnout and I’m really really thankful.” Jodie Potter, Board Member for the Emily White Foundation.  

The turnout this morning shocked organizers. 

“I mean it started when Emily was in treatment and it’s never ended people from this area really give us a lot of support and it was a great idea by Jodie Potter too just in the last two weeks to hold this and to see that 72 people were here and probably another 25 came out just to show support is incredible.” Tom Whitehead, President and Co-founder of the Emily Whitehead Foundation. 

Some of the runners included the Philipsburg-Osceola cross country team who was running for Emily and their head coach. 

“They were all with me as a breast cancer survivor, I’m two years out they ran with me when I was very, sick and they are all good friends with Emily and we decided to come out here and support the cause and also support all the people who are battling that horrible disease cancer in any way.” Renee Langer Head Coach of Philipsburg Osceola Cross Country and Track and Field. 

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And today won’t be the last time. 

“I think we got something started here, Jodie always has an amazing effect on anything that she does so I don’t doubt that next year there will probably be over 100.” Langer said.