WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Ainsley’s Angels is a non-profit group that raises money to purchase adaptive chairs that help the disabled participate in endurance events.
It’s named after Ainsley Rossiter, a little girl diagnosed with a rare, terminal illness that slowly caused global paralysis. Running with an adaptive chair was something her family could do together. When they were running, Ainsley always had a huge smile on her face. It was therapeutic for the whole family.
Ainsley died in 2016. Her family started Ainsley’s Angels to keep her legacy alive.
Local ambassadors started a chapter in Wilmington, Pender, and Duplin counties. They participate in several races all year long, including the Blueberry Festival 5K.
Angel runners team up with athlete angels.
“We have able body runners that will push and help lend their legs, but the athlete rider is the one that actually pulls the runner across the finish line each time, so the athlete rider is always first,” said Kelley Siboun, Ambassador for Ainsley’s Angels.
Saturday, Hunter Mikitka and William Brandon will be part of the local team running in the 5K. Hunter is the athlete, William is an angel runner.
“I love to see the smile on the athletes face when we push them through the endurance events. Their smile and their energy helps pull me thru the endurance events," Brandon said.
Hunter has cerebral palsy, vision impairment, and other developmental issues. This will be her fourth Blueberry Festival 5K.
“She loves it. She really, really loves it. She particularly loves getting to run with fast runners, which her mother is not, but she really, really enjoys to run,” said Susan Mikitka, Hunter’s mom.
Ainsley’s Angels is hosting the Frost 5K and virtual road race 1-mile run Sunday, Dec. 15 in Wilmington. Click here to register.