Tag Archives: christopher wilke

Wiegand Ready to Run for Children With Cancer Again

Roy Wiegand isn’t getting any younger.

But at 53 the Burbank resident has plans to do more than ever before.

Wednesday at noon Wiegand will depart from Market Place Park and go running off on a journey around the Santa Clarita Valley for 30 consecutive hours hoping to raise money for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, which supports families of children with cancer.

He plans to end Thursday at 6 p.m. outside the food court at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

This is Wiegand’s fourth run that began in memory of Christopher Wilke, a 12-year-old Burbank resident who died of a rare form of cancer in 2014.

“This year I’m kind of excited. It is going to be more about the time. This is 30 hours,” Wiegand said. “I’ve done 24 hours the past couple of years. I feel like I’m going to be able to run a little more than 100 miles this time. I’m excited about that. It is kind of a personal challenge, but of course it is a much bigger cause.”

Roy Wiegand on one of his past runs for Christopher Wilke. (Photo courtesy Steve Starleaf and Roy Wiegand).

Wiegand said he only began running in his early 40s and started doing the ultra-distance running after hearing of Wilke’s story.

“When Christopher’s battle came to light here in Burbank, it was such a personal thing. Christopher and my son were in a Boy Scout Troop together,” Wiegand said. “His story and the family’s strength and how they’ve caught on to want to help people that are in that battle that they went through is very moving and inspires me to help in some way.”


In his first run for Christopher, Wiegand traveled 86 miles.

“The first one we did was kind of special. We started at Angel Stadium. It was 2 in the morning,” Wiegand recalled. “Christopher was an avid Little Leaguer. His favorite team was the Angels. We started the run there. We got a ball signed by Mike Trout. That was his favorite player. The family didn’t know about the ball. We met Christopher’s mom and dad and brother in Santa Clarita late that afternoon. I gave them the ball. I came right through Burbank.”

Wiegand said he is running in Santa Clarita because the foundation he is running for is based there and because he said Santa Clarita offers lots of bike trails to run on.

“It will be my fourth run in honor of Christopher and the other kids that are in the middle of fighting cancer here in Burbank and in Glendale and across the San Fernando Valley,” said Wiegand, who noted that 30 families in the Burbank-Glendale area are currently being assisted by the Michael Hoefflin Foundation.

Wiegand said he plans to exceed the 100 miles that he has gone the past two years.

“I have to get at least 100 miles. I’m not going to let myself go home without doing that. That’s my minimum,” Wiegand said.

Wiegand on his run in 2016. (Photo courtesy Roy Wiegand)

To prepare for the event, Wiegand said he often runs uphill in the mountains in Burbank above De Bell Golf Course.

”I try to be very careful not to over train or do too many miles. It is very difficult on your bod,” Wiegand said.” Your body takes a lot of punishment running. There are a lot of great benefits to running, but also it beats you up pretty good. I generally haven’t run more than 20 miles on a training run for the most part, although this year for the first time I did a 40 miler. I did that about four weeks ago.”

He isn’t too concerned with the longer distance.

“Ultra-distance running is 90 percent mental. The other 10 percent is in your head,” Wiegand said. “You can talk yourself in or out of anything. I like to think it helps me being a little bit older. I can maybe think a little bit outside the box and talk myself into it.”

What he is concerned with are the temperatures he may face.

“The temperature is going to jump up into the 90s this Wednesday just in time for my run. It will be over 95 Wednesday and Thursday when I’m up in Santa Clarita,” Wiegand said. “That means on the bike path it will be over 100 degrees with the asphalt and heat coming off there.

The challenge to staying hydrated is really tough. It’s almost possible to stay hydrated enough. It’s almost impossible not to be dehydrated because of the extreme temperatures and the mileage. So I drink as much as I can and hopefully I’m peeing a lot.  If you stop peeing, you know you are dehydrated.”

Roy Wiegand running on Glenoaks Blvd. in Glendale in 2016. (Photo courtesy Roy Wiegand)

Wiegand said he doesn’t have plans to make any long stops other than using a restroom.

“Sometimes I do eat on the run. I might take a break or two to stop and change shoes and maybe put on a clean shirt. But none of those stops are more than a few minutes,” he said. “I’m not running as fast as I can. I’m doing an easy pace. It’s all about keeping moving. As long as you are moving, it doesn’t really matter how fast you are going.”

Wiegand said this year’s goal is to raise $13,100 for the foundation. He noted that this is equal to $100 per mile for five marathons. It is an average of six hours per marathon.

“It is still a very Burbank-centric event. Christopher’s family lives here, I live here. A lot of our supporters and donors live in Burbank,” Wiegand said. “It will tie in nice with Santa Clarita because that’s where the foundation is.”

Wiegand said this year fans will also be able to track his progress during the run.

“I’m having a GPS tracker with me the whole run so you will be able to see what mile I’m on,” he said. “You download the app on your phone. It is a free app and every five miles I get to you get an alert, Roy is at mile 10 or 20 or 30 or whatever it is.”

For more information on supporting Wiegand by donating money to the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, visit Mhf.org on the Internet.

“The kids really inspire me, Christopher’s story of course. The kids that are fighting their battle now, it is the fight of their lives,” Wiegand said. “If I get tired or uncomfortable a little bit or start hurting I think about them. I’m blessed. I’m healthy and I’ve got the ability to run a long way and what a privilege it is to do it for them.”



Burbank Resident to Honor Life of Christopher Wilke in July 4 Run

wilke run

Run in Honor of Christopher Wilke Will Take Place July 4
from Anaheim to Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita, CA – In honor of Christopher Wilke, a 12-year-old boy who died of cancer of the bile ducts on March 20, 2014, Burbank resident and ultra marathon runner Roy Wiegand is planning to run from Angels Stadium in Anaheim to the Michael Hoefflin Foundation in Santa Clarita, on Friday, July 4. All proceeds from this run will go to the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer.

Christopher Wilke will always be in the hearts of others

Christopher Wilke will always be in the hearts of others

Wiegand’s son and Wilke were in the same Boy Scout Troop, and Wiegand was “blown away” by the amazing effect Wilke had upon so many people in his community. At the rosary for Wilke, Wiegand heard so many stories about the boy, who was an avid baseball player and loved the Angels.

“It really spoke to me,” said Wiegand, who for the past five years has done challenge runs to raise money for Lifewater International, an organization that builds water wells in developing countries. Last year he ran from San Luis Obispo to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and raised $12,000 for this cause.

During the Run for Christopher on July 4, Wiegand will have a racing stroller with him, which can hold up to 100 pounds. He would love to give rides to kids along the way.

Roy's Run for Christopher FlyerDonations for this run can be made directly to the Michael Hoefflin Foundation (www.mhf.org). People can join Wiegand along the way for any distance they would like.

Wilke’s baseball number was 48, so in an ideal world, Wiegand would love to raise $48,000 for the Foundation from this run. “I will raise as much as I can,” Wiegand said. “I feel like I am the lucky one. This is an amazing opportunity.”

For more information, please visit www.mhf.org.

Jordan Honors Five With Christopher Wilke Service Award

David Starr Jordan Middle School teachers and staff recognized the first ever recipients of the Christopher Wilke Service Award on Friday, May 9, at the school’s spring seventh-grade award assembly.

“The Jordan staff created an annual seventh-grade award based on service, compassion and academic achievement,” commented Principal Stacy Cashman. “There were five Jordan students who stayed by Chris’s side in the hospital, visited with him often and treated him like the friend he was, despite the difficulties he endured from his illness.”

Photo Courtesy of David Starr Jordan Middle School

Photo Courtesy of David Starr Jordan Middle School

“It was our honor to award Kalea Neiviller, Evan Troncoso, Connor McDonald, Jerzy Maginnis and Morgan Mersola,” added Cashman.

The Wilke family attended the awards ceremony and thanked the honored students for their friendship and compassion for their son.

“Although it was an emotional day, these students demonstrated maturity and compassion beyond their years,” said Cashman.

Wilke passed away March 20 after battling a very rare form of bile duct cancer. Jordan held a 5K Wilke Walk April 5 to raise funds for medical expenses via The Talbert Family Foundation which supports families with children fighting cancer.

Wilke Walk At Jordan Middle School Raises $10,000

Around 500 people attended the Wilke Walk 5K fundraiser held Saturday, April 5, at David Starr Jordan Middle School’s Lower Field. More than $10,000 was raised for the family from participants and donations from the community for this event.

“The community response and support at this event was inspiring and overwhelming,” commented Wilke Walk organizer and Jordan ASB Advisor Robin Hatch. “Our students, families and the community came together to demonstrate how much Chris and the Wilke family meant to them. I am proud that we raised approximately $10,000 for the Talbert Foundation.”

Medal winners of the 5K Wilke Walk pose with the Wilke family. (Photo Courtesy of Stacy Cashman)

Medal winners of the 5K Wilke Walk pose with the Wilke family. (Photo Courtesy of Stacy Cashman)

Many members of the Jordan staff, Edison staff (at which Chris’ younger brother Daniel attends school), Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, CPK Executive Chef Kong, Boys and Girls Club and Chris’ Boy Scout troop and baseball team came out to show their support, according to Jordan Principal Stacy Cashman.

Burbank running shoe store Fleet Feet supplied the arch, Western Bagel and Noah’s Bagels donated bagels and the Hollywood Way donated a certain percentage of their profits that day, she added.

Hundreds of Jordan students and their families also took part in the event.

Joe and Lisa Wilke, Chris' parents, walk along with local students. (Photo Courtesy of Stacy Cashman)

Joe and Lisa Wilke, Chris’ parents, walk along with local students. (Photo Courtesy of Stacy Cashman)

“Thanks to everyone for their support and donations for the Wilke family,” said Cashman. “I also wanted to give a shout out to Robin Hatch and the many Jordan staff members who helped to organize and put this event together.”

The community spirit and support displayed on Saturday was uplifting,” she said.

More than 400 people participated in the 5k Wilke Walk. (Photo Courtesy of Stacy Cashman)

More than 400 people participated in the 5k Wilke Walk. (Photo Courtesy of Stacy Cashman)

Over $25,000 has been raised by April 6, according to the Team Christopher Facebook page. The donations are collected by the Talbert Family Foundation to cover medical expenses incurred from Wilke’s battle with Bile Duct Cancer.

Wilke, a seventh-grader at Jordan Middle School, passed away March 20, just about 10 weeks after being diagnosed with the rare form of cancer and while undergoing treatment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Many fundraisers and donations have been held throughout the community in recent weeks to show support for the Wilke family. The Talbert Family Foundation provides financial support to families suffering from cancer and major illnesses.

Wilke Walk Fundraising Event Planned At Jordan (update)

UPDATE #2 March 21, 2014 3:44 p.m. Jordan Middle School announced that the school can now take checks made payable to The Talbert Family Foundation for the Christopher Wilke Fundraiser.

People who would like to supply a meal to the Wilke family can go to mealtrain.com and click on “Team Christopher” to sign up for a date and time to supply the meal. There is also a link on the Facebook page for Christopher Wilke, Team Christopher.

UPDATE #1 March 20, 2014 1:45 p.m. Team Christopher reports: “At 9:33 this morning Christopher peacefully passed away. He was surrounded by his loving family. My God bless him and hold him in his arms.”

The entire staff of myBurbank extends their deepest sympathy and condolences to Christopher’s family, friends and school.

Jordan Middle School has sent emails and phone messages to all of the school’s approximately 1200 students and their families this afternoon saying:

As you know, Chris Wilke has been fighting cancer for the last several months. It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that he lost that fight this morning. His family reported that he passed peacefully. Chris meant so much to all of us and our hearts are with the Wilke Family. This is a difficult time for all of Jordan. We know that everyone handles grief differently, so if your child needs additional support, please do not hesitate to contact our counseling office at 818 558 4622 ext. 21924. The identified location will also be available for those who just want to reflect or be alone with their own thoughts. Jordan is a school that fosters family and friendship. We will all support one another as we get through this difficult time. Our hearts and thoughts are with the Wilke Family.”

The 5K Run/Walk For Wilke will go on, said Principal Stacy Cashman, More details will be forthcoming.

Original Article Posted March 18, 2014 9:29 a.m.

Jordan Middle School sponsors a special 5K Run/Walk For Wilke on Saturday, April 5, on the school grounds. Twelve-year-old Jordan student, Chris Wilke, has been struggling with a very rare form of cancer, Bile Duct Cancer, since being diagnosed in January 2014.

“We know that many will come out and show their support,” commented Jordan Principal Stacy Cashman. “One of the many things I love about the Burbank community is the way they wrap their arms around those in need and show unity and compassion for others.”

wilke5kflyerCashman urges people to form teams and spread the word of the event in order to extend greater support for Wilke’s battle.

Pre-registration is available by printing out the form and waiver in the attached photo gallery and mailing it to Jordan Middle School at 420 S. Mariposa St. Room 607 in Burbank. The school can accept cash payments or checks made out to “Christopher Wilke.”

People may also write a check as a straight donation and mail it to the school or donate online at http://www.talbertfamilyfoundation.org/pages/Christopher.html.

“Chris and the Wilke family have been very involved in the Burbank community,” added Cashman. “We are looking forward to a strong show of support from the Burbank community for Chris and the Wilke family.”

The Wilke Walk begins at 9:00 a.m., with registration available starting at 8:00 a.m. the day of the event. The entire $20 registration fee will be donated to the Wilke family.

Readers can keep up with Wilke’s ongoing battle with cancer on the facebook page Team Christopher.