Brotherly Love: Superhero-Themed 5K Honors Boy’s Memory

WARRINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — A Bucks County family who lost a child this spring is facing thousands of dollars in medical bills. A stranger stepped up, creating a 5K with a special theme.

The little boy loved superheroes. So organizers came up with a way to make all the runners and walkers superheroes as well.

Six-year-old Makenna is a bundle of energy, and so was her 3-year-old brother, Jackson. He loved superheroes, says mother Andrea Cole.

“He was always dressing up and it always had to be a cape,” Andrea said. “Even if they didn’t match, always a cape.”

On May 28, Makenna, Jackson and Andrea were at a neighbor’s home in Warrington. Jackson had a drowning accident. Jackson’s dad, Warminster Township Police Officer Jeremy Cole, heard the call for help over his police radio.

“Wasn’t our residence,” he explained. “Didn’t know for sure that was my son, but ended up getting a phone call and finding out that way.”

Jackson was flown to CHOP. “We had hope for a whole week,” Andrea said, “but on June 4, he was pronounced brain dead.”

Support poured in from other first responders eager to help Officer Cole’s family with medical bills, including 911 dispatcher Mary Broda of Souderton.

“I did not know him,” Mary said. “We actually work opposite rotations.”

Mary thought of a 5K. She had never organized one before.

“God impressed it upon my heart, and there it was,” Mary said.

“Of course, I said yes, let’s go with it,” Jeremy said.

Andrea said, “The one thing I asked Mary is, ‘Can we all dress up in costumes?’ Because that’s what Jackson would have wanted. She said, ‘Yes, of course, that’s a great idea!'”

The families came together to design a superhero cape for the walkers and runners in the Jackson’s Heroes 5K and Family Fun Walk October 16th. Jackson’s dad designed the super “J.” Jackson’s mom and friends worked on the layout and colors. A family friend is printing the capes. As of Tuesday, more than 400 people have already registered.

“It’ll be really beautiful to see all these children and adult superheroes in costumes with all the same cape, just running around,” Andrea laughed.

It’s what Jackson would have wanted.

The Jackson’s Heroes 5K is Sunday, October 16. Sign up as soon as possible before capes run out. Registration ends Friday, October 14.

To find out more, go to https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/Warminster/JacksonsHeroes5K and http://jacksonsheroes5k.org/.

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