Archive for Thursday, June 14, 2001

Basehor grad walks marathon in honor of recovering judge

June 14, 2001

Competing in honor of his honor, Basehor Municipal Court Judge Bill Pray, a former Basehor-Linwood High School graduate recently participated in the Suzuki Rock 'n Roll Marathon in San Diego.

Brandy Ernzen solicited more than $3,000 in donations for competing in the 26-mile marathon in honor of Pray, a recovering Leukemia patient.

"I always wanted to do a charity run of some kind, maybe not a marathon, but it was a good cause," Ernzen said. "The money goes straight to the foundation to further research, education and to help the patients themselves."

The donations for the event came from several local businesses and will be donated to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Overall, the event raised more than $10 million and Ernzen said unlike many other charity events the majority of the proceeds will go directly toward the treatment of the illnesses.

"I picked this event because 80 percent of the money goes to the foundation," Ernzen said. "Some of the others I looked at were between 60-65 percent. I just thought that money should go directly to that cause."

Ernzen also walked in honor of a 2-year-old boy from Florida.

Ernzen averaged 4.2 miles an hour and finished the event in a ittle over six hours, far ahead of the seven-hour time limit.

Pray first learned about his illness six years ago while he was donating blood. Since his diagnosis, Pray has received a stem-cell transplant, an aggressive new therapy in which all the blood cells are killed through radiation and transplanted with donated blood.

Although he said he is not back to 100 percent and suffers from fatigue, Pray said he enjoys working as the city judge in Basehor. Pray also serves as a part-time judge in Tonganoxie and Lansing.

"I am slowly getting back into working," Pray said. "I enjoy being a judge and the law, and I like to educate from the bench."

Pray said he was flattered that Ernzen chose to walk in honor of him at the marathon.

"It's always an honor when someone does something for you like that," Pray said. "With this type of illness, you find out who your friends are. I have been surprised at how wonderful the walk is because it helps you and someone else."

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