ORLANDO, Fla. – Hundreds of people will strip down to their underwear to race for a cause this Valentine’s Day.
The Cupid’s Undie Run is coming back to Lake Eola after raising more than half a million dollars.
“The little bit that we can do, like making a fool of ourselves, running in our undies, makes such a huge impact,” Tina Pun, a returning race participant said.
Bill Brooks is the race director, he says the event puts the hilarity in charity.
"I thought well you know what Orlando's just crazy enough that we need to bring that to Orlando, so we did 8 years ago," Brooks said.
But for Brooks, fighting for this cause began 20 years ago.
"My wife and I had our beautiful daughter Lilly Ann in 2000, and she was born with what looked like a small little swollen tear duct and they said just give it a warm compress and it'll go away,” Brooks said.
For eighteen months Brooks said his daughter went undiagnosed until they were referred to a neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was there they discovered Lilly Ann was born with neurofibromatosis.
“The man said, ‘I’m sorry to have to tell you but there is no cure,’” Brooks said.
As the years passed the Brooks family became involved with the Children’s Tumor Foundation and learned the disease commonly known as NF affects one in 3,000 people around the world. Patients can have different outcomes, as the genetic disorder causes tumors, mostly noncancerous, to form on nerve tissue. In some cases, these tumors can become malignant.
Brooks said Lilly Ann is currently involved in a clinical trial with the National Institutes is Health which has caused her tumor to shrink.
“She does not let NF define her, she’s going on about her life, she went to the University of Alabama where I went and her brother went,” Brooks said.
People who choose to participate will wear their underwear to support patients with NF who cannot hide their tumors.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the Orlando Cupid’s Undie Run sign up here: https://my.cupids.org/cur/city/Orlando
What to know before you go
When: Feb. 15 from noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Race starts at Elixir at 9 West Washington Street
What: A party fun run in your undies for charity.