Meet Miracle Mile Champion: Zion Polk

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and ½ Marathon is October 21st and we’re honored to be the event’s title beneficiary. As we countdown to the Marathon we’ll introduce you to our “mile champions.” These 26 special children and teens, each with a moving story to share, will be designated a mile along the event course. They will serve as patient ambassadors – to motivate participants and engage the entire community in this vital fundraising event.  Each child will have a fundraising page for their mile and many of the miles will have corporate sponsors.

This week we introduce you to: Zion Polk

Age: 2
Hometown:  Columbus, Ohio
Condition: Cleft Lip, Leukemia

Two extraordinary challenges for a two-year old.

Even before she was born, Zion Polk’s parents knew their daughter had a cleft lip and palate. What they didn’t know was that just a few days before her first birthday, Zion would also be diagnosed with leukemia. The odds are unfathomable – while one of every 1,000 babies is affected with cleft lip and palate it is extraordinarily rare for a child to also develop cancer. So within her first year of life, Zion endured reconstructive facial surgery and also began aggressive chemotherapy for her cancer. Throughout the struggles that come along with leukemia, the Polk family had their faith to get them through, along with lots of visitors and the support of Nationwide Children’s. While Zion is now disease free, she still undergoes routine chemotherapy treatments and her doctor says she “laughs in the face of chemo”.

Zion and her family will be proud patient champions along Mile 21 of this weekend’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. This very special mile is also being supported by The Superior Group which hosted Zion and her family for a visit and surprised them with gifts and a “rally banner” for their mile. If you are along the course the 21st mile is being dubbed, the “Music Mile” where friends, family, and community supporters will gather to sing, dance, and celebrate runners and walkers to the finish line.  It’s not too late to help out – Click here to make a gift.

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

One thought on “Meet Miracle Mile Champion: Zion Polk

  1. julie-anne alexander on said:

    Just wanted to say that the beautiful, inspirational miss zion polk is my niece and she so deserves this recognition, so thank-you for choosing her. Zion is half Scottish(she has dual citizenship) so we unfortunately won’t be able to make it over to America for the marathon on Sunday but our love and prayers for the athletes and all the mile representatives will definetely be crossing the many miles, Julie-Anne

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