Running for a reason

By Anna Carrera

Published 10/08 2013 10:50PM

Updated 10/11 2013 10:10AM

Update: 9:55 pm, 10/10/13, Thursday
CHAMPAIGN -- A man is getting closer to his goal for giving back to the people who saved his daughter's life. Sean Murphy is raising money for the Lurie Children's hospital by running the Chicago Marathon.

Doctors there fixed the hole in his daughter, Serafina's, heart. Murphy's trying to get to $5,000 and was up to $3,300 earlier this week. Now he's just $300 short.

To help push him past his goal, click here.
Original: 10:50 pm, 10/8/13, Tuesday
CHAMPAIGN -- More than 30,000 runners are gearing up for this weekend's marathon in Chicago, but one man has a special reason for lacing up his tennis shoes. He's supporting the people who saved his daughter's life.

Sean Murphy's daughter had to be admitted to Lurie Children's Hospital about a year ago. His wife took a picture of their daughter, Serafina, while they were there, but neither of them could have known how that shot would come back to help them today.

When you're training for the race we call life, you're bound to hit a few bumps in the road.

"I really didn't know what to think," said Sean. "The fact that your baby girl has a hole on her heart the size of a nickel, it's just devastating."

"It's just one of those things you never think would actually happen to you, your family, your child," said Megan Murphy, who is Serafina's mom.

Little Serafina, who was just a year old at the time, needed open heart surgery.

"I wanted her to have the best surgeons," said Sean. "I wanted her to have the best doctors."

Her operation at Lurie Children's Hospital lasted six hours. Almost a year later, her heart is still beating strong.

"Everything is perfect," said Megan. "She had her last check up in May and everything is great."

Sean wanted to give back to the place which gave his daughter a second chance. So he signed up for the hospital's marathon team.

"I raised about $250 - $300 through donations from friends and family," said Sean.

But then something strange happened. A picture his wife took of Serafina almost a year ago popped up on a random Facebook page last week.

"I quickly posted a comment saying, 'I'm Serafina's father,'" said Sean. "If this picture touches you and you want to do something more than just like it, you can give back to the hospital that helped save her life."

And they did.

"Complete strangers just wanting to do something because Serafina and her story just touched them," said Sean.

"We have something that is so personal that he's able to run for now," said Megan.

Modern medicine helped Serafina get healthy again and the wonders of technology will help other kids to get the same treatment.

"These stories and these names and these people will carry me forward," said Sean.

That picture of Serafina got millions of likes, so Sean raised his goal to $5,000. He's got about $3,300 now. To help, click here.

Sean and the rest of the Chicago marathon runners will have extra security this year. New rules are in place after the bombing at the Boston marathon.

Runners can't leave bags or clothing unattended anywhere along the race route. There will also be random bag searches. Police and bomb-sniffing dogs will be on hand. Tens of thousands of cameras will be watching every moment.

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