WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The energy was contagious as hundreds gathered for the first-annual Izzy Foundation 5K earlier this month.

Runners and walkers of all ages flocked to Goddard Memorial Park to show their support for the Izzy Foundation and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Amelia Bernard and her family were among those taking part in the 5K, which included a 3.1-mile route for adults and a 1K for children.

Bernard was diagnosed last year with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“We were admitted to Hasbro’s fifth floor for 36 days,” Carly Bernard, Amelia’s mother said. “We spent a large portion of the 36 days in The Izzy Room.”

The Izzy Room was created by the parents of Isabelle Marie Wohlrab nearly a decade ago. The 3-year-old died following a two and a half-year battle with a rare form of cancer.

Since its inception, The Izzy Room has comforted hundreds of families who have had to endure long hospital stays, including the Bernards.

Amelia has been receiving treatment for nearly a year now, and she still has about a year and a half to go. Though she is still fighting for her life, her family was determined to show their appreciation for the room Amelia so affectionately refers to as her “purple house.”

The Bernards bundled Amelia up and pulled her along in a wagon as the family walked through the park.

Amelia not only got to participate in the 5K, she also got to see some of the hospital volunteers she loves so much.

“They really make a terrible experience a lot easier,” Carly said. “It really is like a home away from home.”

The mission of the Izzy Foundation is personal for Executive Director Carla Mulhern.

“I actually lost my best friend to leukemia, and her family didn’t get to experience what a beautiful room The Izzy Room is,” Mulhern said. “Being able to see Amelia and other families get that extra special feel or Izzy’s hug … it all comes full circle so it’s extra special on all ends.”

Volunteers cheered from a bridge above the race route, holding a photo the foundation’s namesake as runners crossed the finish line. The Izzy Foundation hopes that the 5K will become an annual tradition.

12 News is a proud sponsor for the Izzy 5K, and Shannon Hegy is honored to serve on the Izzy Foundation’s Board. Hegy experienced the generosity of The Izzy Room firsthand when her son Carter was hospitalized for 70 days with bacterial meningitis.