Over 10,000 people laced up their running shoes to run/walk/stroll at FitOne on Saturday! If you took off before the "Fit & Fun Purple Wave" you have have missed one of the most moving moments of the morning!

Our digital editor, Melissa, jokes that St. Luke's FitOne is my fourth favorite "holiday" of the year.  She's not wrong! I love FitOne because it brings the entire Treasure Valley (not just runners) together to help raise money for St. Luke's Children's Hospital, the only children's hospital in the state.  Every year, I see familiar faces and get to catch up with people I don't get to see as often as I'd like to.

Image via Ryan Anderson

One of those faces I saw on Saturday was someone who spent most of her summer as a patient at St. Luke's Children's a year ago.  Last July, our friend Hannah Anderson, a student at Mountain View High School, went to a friend's house for a party only to text her mom a short time later asking for a ride.  She told them she had a headache and was scared.  Her parents took her to St. Luke's in Meridian, expecting them to give her some high dose migraine medication.  That wasn't the case.  within hours Hannah was having surgery to remove blood pooling in her brain. Hannah was diagnosed with ITP, an immune disease that causes low levels of blood platelets that help your blood cot.  In addition to the bleeding in her brain, her condition also led to bleeding in her lungs.

Image via Ryan Anderson

I knew Hannah's dad through the running community. One of mutual friends put out a note asking friends to drop off dinner at the hospital for the Andersons so I was happy to help out. When I went to visit them last August, Hannah was in a medically induced coma and breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.  A few days later, her family had to make the decision to let surgeons take out her spleen, hoping it would stop her body from destroying her blood platelets.

By last October, Hannah was out of her coma, but couldn't speak just yet.  As she progressed, St. Luke's PICU released her and sent her to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake to transition into physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Hannah's a testament to the incredible work they do at St. Luke's Children's Hospital. Her incredible team of doctors and surgeons are why she's alive, recovering and got to spend some time with FitOne participants on Saturday.  In fact, she and her dad Ryan were chosen by the staff at FitOne to be the official race starters fir the "Fit & Fun Purple Wave" of the 5K! It was really moving so see how far she's come since being in that coma last summer.

If you missed Hannah's race start because you were in the half marathon, 10K or earlier wave of the 5K...you can check out the pictures below!