Pine Belt family turns loss into a legacy with 5K run - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Pine Belt family turns loss into a legacy with 5K run

Photo credit: The Anderson's Photo credit: The Anderson's
FOXWORTH, MS (WDAM) -

In 10 days, David and Laura Anderson, of Foxworth, hope Friendship Park in Columbia will be the site to honor their daughter, Sela Marie Anderson. 
"While it's sad, I think about what we do to celebrate her," Laura Anderson said. 
In 2015, the Anderson's shared their story about their only child, Sela.

David Anderson remembers as soon as his first child was born the doctors told him she was in worse condition than they anticipated. 
On March 14, 2014, Sela Anderson was born with CDH, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a condition in which a hole in the diaphragm allows organs to move into the chest, which prevents the lungs from developing normally.

She only lived for three weeks. 
"That (was) her life, Sela's life was a legacy," Laura said. 
In 2015, the Anderson's made sure Sela's life was commemorated. They hosted the "Celebrate Sela" 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run at Friendship Park.

The Anderson's said they wanted to raise money and awareness for the condition that only allowed their daughter to live 23 days. 
"If we can prevent other families from having to go through this with just a little bit of money that we can donate to research and stuff, ya know, that gives me a little bit of hope for them," Laura Anderson said. 
David and Laura said they could not believe the response from the 5K. They said hundreds of people registered, and many showed up to volunteer. 
"There were so many people here that got here early that morning with us and said, 'Hey,what can I do to help?' " David Anderson said. 
The couple said that show of support resulted in more than $11,000.

The Anderson's donated half to CHERUBS, a non-profit support group for families and medical care providers of those born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

The other half of donations went to the hospital that cared for Sela, Blaire E. Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson. 
The hospital said in a statement: "We were very grateful for the Anderson family's gift. It was truly inspiring to see Sela's memory honored through a gift benefiting other patients in our care."
After the success of last year's race, the Anderson's are doing it again.

On Saturday, March 26, at 8 a.m. David and Laura Anderson will celebrate Sela with another 5K run. 

"I look forward to that cause we don't get to celebrate her birthday with her, and this is our way, our celebration," Laura Anderson said. 
If you want to participate in the "Celebrate Sela" 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run email the Anderson's at celebratesela@gmail.com or go to "Celebrate Sela" Facebook page to register and receive more information. 

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