TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Runners took off from the start line Saturday morning in the Breakthrough For Brain Tumors 5K, raising money for the American Brain Tumor Association.

The money helps people like 2-year-old Callie Stillwell, a toddler from Seminole.

Two weeks after Callie’s second birthday, she got an MRI that changed everything.

“The doctor came in and said she had the size of a golf ball tumor on the back of her head,” said Callie’s mom Chelsey Stillwell.

Callie was diagnosed with Ependymoma, a rare brain cancer on Jan. 6.

Now, after a craniotomy at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete, she’s running around, giggling, and living life tumor-free.

“Going from ‘okay hey your daughter has a brain tumor,’ we got lucky, because there’s all different types out there where some parents aren’t standing where we are at watching her run around,” Chelsey said. “We’re thankful for that.”

“We went into it and I said we have a chance,” said Callie’s father Philip Stillwell. “Fathers, mothers wake up every day not knowing that’s the last time they’re going to see their child.”

“We have a chance,” Philip said. “We’re going to take that and run with it.”

That is why hundreds of people showed up to take on the Breakthrough For Brain Tumors 5K Saturday morning.

Runners like Ryan Dejong who lost his wife Michelle Dejong on Valentine’s Day in 2016, almost two years after she was diagnosed with a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor.

“My goal is to raise $100 for each year of my life starting on my birthday going through Valentine’s Day,” Ryan said.

Each year he selects a local family going through a similar fight to Michelle’s.

“This year we met Callie Jean, actually because of WFLA, because I wouldn’t have known what they were going through if it wasn’t for the original news report.

Ryan ended up raising over $7,000 for Callie and her family.

“To say, here, here’s a little something, I hope this makes your day brighter and I hope it makes things things a little easier,” Ryan explained. “That brings I think hopefully a little bit of joy.”

If you didn’t make it to the 5K, but still want to donate, you can do so here.

To make a donation by phone, call 800-221-1861.

To send a donation by mail, you can download and complete this donation form and send to:

American Brain Tumor Association
8550 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 550
Chicago, IL 60631

You can check on the Tampa Bay donation goal here.