For local residents, seeing a large group of people dressed up in different outfits and colors running around the neighborhood is completely normal and almost expected at this point. That is all thanks to Fleet Feet’s Fun Runs that have become extremely popular in the area. The owners of Fleet Feet Sports Gaithersburg, Chris and Robyn Gault, are now famous for holiday fun runs, whether it be Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas; the latter has developed into a fun, friendly and quirky event. On Dec. 15, the Gaults used their popular fun run to take on a very serious cause.
The annual Super Caroling Run at Fleet Feet got a “new, meaningful twist” as the Gaults called it—Cookies for Cohen. The idea behind Cookies for Cohen was to support two boys in Montgomery County, Daniel Garcia Beech and Austin Cohen, who were both diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Sadly, Beech passed away in August, so the event was held not only to support Cohen and his family, but to honor Beech and his courageous fight.
The event began as Cohen’s mother, Miriam, addressed the group of carolers to give her thanks. She became teary-eyed and emotional, and she later attributed this to “seeing all of the love in the room.” She added, “I don’t know how people make it through a disease like this without a lot of people.”
Due to the freezing temperatures, the fun run became more of a walk but a crowd of friends, family and community residents came out in full force nonetheless. Participants wore yellow capes as they went around caroling at Coal Fire, Tommy Joe’s and Pinky & Pepe’s.
“It is so important to me,” Austin Cohen said, referring to the amount of support that showed up that night, “for my friends to come when they have homework, practice, and when it’s this cold out, maybe 15 degrees, means a whole lot to me and my family.” Cohen said he felt so grateful to live in a community that he knows “will support us if we need help, and if somebody else needs help, we will support them.”
More than 100 participated in Cookies for Cohen, the event raised close to $3,000, and Fleet Feet Sports will match this for a total donation of just below $6,000. Money raised will benefit the first-ever FACTOR (Funding-Awareness-Collaboration-Trials-Osteosarcoma Research) Conference sponsored by MIB Agents Osteosarcoma Alliance and hosted by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Austin Cohen’s type of osteosarcoma hasn’t been researched in more than 30 years and so far, four clinical trials that Austin has tried have all failed. The Cohens hope that bringing these doctors together in one room will lead to a breakthrough. Donations for the conference and for osteosarcoma research can be given at donorbox.org/mibfactor.