Dash for Danni


Foran Lacrosse

Ready, Set, Go: The boys lacrosse team poses for a picture just before starting the race. April 29, 2023.

          Danni Kemp was a former student at Foran high school who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), after getting hit in the head with a softball while playing in a game for Stony Brook University. Danni battled cancer for many months before she unfortunately lost her fight on March 10, 2017. 

          She was a member of the Milford and Foran community. She was also a two time all-state softball player in 2013 and 2014. 

          The Dash for Danni is a fundraiser to raise awareness and money for the fight against DIPG. The dash is a 5k (3.1 mile) race starting and finishing at Foran High School. In the past, 250-800 people have participated in the race, it is a well known Milford community event. People can also virtually register for the race if they are not able to participate. 

          The course starts at Foran by the school, goes around surrounding neighborhoods, and ends up back at Foran near the athletic fields.

          The event was created by Journalism teacher, Mrs. Lisa Farrell. 

          Farrell says, “When Danni was diagnosed I was running because I like to run to clear my head…I started to think what if I could make a 5k race or walk to show Danni that we supported her.” The race, and fundraiser itself has a huge impact, and meaning in many people’s lives.

          The race costs $30 dollars for 18 and older, 25 dollars for 17 and under, 23 dollars for all Milford students; all proceeds go to an organization called The Cure Starts Now. 

          Mrs. Melinda Kemp, Danni’s mother, states, “This organization was started by parents of children who have passed from DIPG, which funds research all over the world in an effort to find a cure for DIPG”. 

          According to the National Institute of Health, DIPG mainly impacts children, and affects only one  to two people per 100,000. Also, the mortality rate is 90 percent within two years. While it is a very rare disease, it is still beneficial to research, and find a cure for DIPG.

          Being one of the largest fundraisers held at Foran, lots of planning has to go into this event, from getting the word out, to planning water stations, and marking the course itself. 

          Kemp says, “Approximately 10 to 14 volunteers spend nearly three months planning the event.” Since it is such an important event, the planners strive to do everything they can to make sure it is perfect.

          This year, the race took place on April 29, and approximately 280 people participated on the rainy morning. After all expenses, $22,000 were raised, all of which will go to helping find a cure for DIPG.

          The Dash For Danni 5k will be around for years to come, and will be a constant tradition in the community.