SHENANDOAH, Texas — David Vetter was twelve years old when he died in 1983 of severe combined immune deficiency (SCID). This young boy from Shenandoah, Texas was known to the world as “the Bubble Boy” and lived his entire life inside a totally germ-free environment. In honor of his memory, the annual David’s Dream Run and Walk was established to help raise money for the David Center at Texas Children’s Hospital’s Allergy and Immunology Clinic, which provides diagnosis and treatment to children with allergy, asthma and primary and secondary immune dysfunction, including HIV/AIDS. The event will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2009.
This year for the first time, the event will be held in David’s hometown. It will start in the parking lot of the new Woodforest Bank Stadium and adjacent natatorium located in Shenandoah behind the Portofino Shopping Center and proceed along David Memorial Drive before returning to the finish line at the stadium. The facilities were opened last year as part of the Conroe Independent School District athletic facilities.
David’s sister, Katherine Vetter Canion expressed the town’s appreciation when she learned the event specifically designed for children and families would be held in Shenandoah. “It’s a home coming we’re so very proud of,” she stated. “The people who knew my brother best and who for years protected his privacy and last name can now be a part of his incredible legacy. It’s very humbling for my mother, father and me and our families, and we are so grateful for the work of all the folks at Texas Children’s Hospital. They will always be very special to us,” she said.
Since 1994, David’s Dream Run has raised over $260,000 for Texas Children’s Hospital. Last year, more than 700 participants and dozens of volunteers took part in the David Dream Run which will consist of both a one mile walk and a 5K run. It is specifically designed for the participation of families, as well as seasoned runners.
This year’s organizing committee consists of Linda Woods, Director of Shenandoah Convention & Visitors Bureau; Lee Allen, Principal of the David Elementary School in The Woodlands; Michelle Barrell and Melissa Wolsky, race volunteers for many years; Brian Carlisle of Shenandoah Police Department; and Katherine Vetter Canion, David’s sister.
All contributions are tax deductible and 100 percent of the funds raised will be donated to the David Center. For more information on how to participate in the David Dream Run and Walk, telephone 281 381-7229 or visit the Web site at the link below.
David’s Dream Run Web site