The annual Cupid’s Undie Run is scheduled to get underway this Saturday afternoon at John Barleycorn’s in Lakeview. Cupid’s Undie Run, which commences at 12 p.m. with a pre-run party and concludes at 4 p.m. with a post-race soirée, is hailed as “the world’s largest non-government organization dedicated to ending Neurofibromatosis (NF) through research.”
The Mayo Clinic reports that NF, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue and can lead to disabling pain and a wide variety of health complications, affects approximately 1 out of every 3,000 children born across the globe. It costs $40 to partake in the half-naked, 1-mile jog, and all of the charity’s proceeds are donated to aid researchers at the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF).
“Kids who have NF have to overcome big obstacles on a day-to-day basis,” Tamara Forys, one of the event’s co-founders, told a local media outlet. “We wanted to put people in a situation [where] they’re doing something uncomfortable and a little bit crazy.”
The fundraiser, which transpires in 30 cities nationally and an additional 17 metropolises abroad, has raised in excess of $14.5 million since it began on December 31, 2009. Chad Leathers, another co-founder who until recently served as the executive director of Cupid Charities, discussed the organization’s long-and short-term goals.
“I wish everyone knew something my mom taught me a long time ago: ‘You can’t put a price tag on a hug,’” said Leathers, whose brother, Drew, was diagnosed with the disorder at the age of 16.
“It doesn’t matter what type of NF a person may have, the stress of uncertainty is indescribable and weighs on the entire family. I’m proud to have been just a small part of what Cupid’s been able to provide to research efforts, but we would never have made it this far without the power of hugs and the support provided to our family. I believe Cupid’s has the potential to be even more influential in the next five years than it was the past five. Our community of fun-loving do-gooders keeps growing, and because of that the possibilities are incredible!”
Although running in undergarments is preferred, it is not mandatory. All participants must be at least 21 years of age and produce an ID to enter this event. To date, Chicagoans have raised $46,987 for this weekend’s run. Visit cupids.org/city/chicago for more information regarding the Cupid’s Undie Run.