MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Next week, many people will be lacing up their running shoes for the 18th Annual Le Bonheur Pumpkin Run 5K, which is sponsored by WREG.

In Olive Branch, Mississippi, as Katie and Walt Krueger play with their 7-year-old daughter Anabelle, they know the importance of not just running for her health, but the health of other children.

“I think she was given to the two of us for a reason, and together we are going to help her as well as other children with neurological conditions that have been forgotten about,” Walt said.

Anabelle is this year’s honorary patient for the 18th Annual Le Bonheur Pumpkin Run.

“She’s the face of the Pumpkin Run this year. We will be there next Saturday with our bells on,” Katie said.

Anabelle’s race for life began when she was four months old and the Kruegers lived in California.

“We started noticing things about her that didn’t seem right,” Walt said.

Anabelle started experiencing seizures and her condition worsened. Her pediatricians in California didn’t have answers, but Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital did.

“We just happen to have the perfect people in our lives who got us connected with Le Bonheur and got us in there right away and started figuring out what was going on with her,” Walt said.

Anabelle was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of one, along with an epilepsy variant caused by an undiagnosed genetic condition.

Years later and with regular checkups, the Kruegers say their daughter is thriving.

“She’s doing very well,” Katie said. “Her seizures remain pretty much seizure-free, and we have her team of epileptologists to thank for that because we wouldn’t have gotten there without them.”

It’s why they encourage others to run for the children at Le Bonheur.

“We knew of Le Bonheur, but we didn’t realize how special Le Bonheur was until compared to everyplace else,” Walt said.

“It is so important to give back to Le Bonheur because it gives back to this community,” Katie said.

If you’re interested in taking part in the 2022 Le Bonheur Pumpkin Run 5K, click here to register.