Ryan's Run Celebrates Family, Remembers A Toddler Who Would Melt Your Heart

Northwestern Medicine
News August 25, 2015
Lori Briere often thinks about what Ryan would be like today. Her son would probably be finishing swim lessons and maybe getting a little nervous about the start of second grade. Whatever his future held, Briere is certain of one thing.    

2 year old Ryan Briere“Ryan would’ve been happy because he was one of those toddlers who was never sad or upset,” said Briere, who lives in Buffalo Grove. “He wanted everyone around him to be happy and we want to continue that spirit, to remember Ryan and to make people smile in his honor.”

In 2011, two-year-old Ryan Briere choked on a hot dog and passed away while he was out to dinner with his family. Every year since his passing, Ryan’s parents, Lori and Frederick Briere, have held Ryan’s Run to remember their son and to give back to local organizations that help children. This year, the family is donating the event’s proceeds to pediatric services such as art and music therapy at the new Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, which is slated to open in the fall of 2017. 

Aerial view of the participants during the race“The new Lake Forest Hospital will not only offer access to top medical experts, but do so in an environment that is welcoming and even fun for our littlest patients and their families,” said Thomas J. McAfee, president of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. “Ryan was born at Lake Forest Hospital and we know this campus is a special place for his family. We are so grateful to the Briere family for supporting our pediatric patients, our hospital and our community.” 

Every year, close to 600 people attend Ryan’s Run, and many are people the Brieres don’t know. 

“We have a lot of family and friends who come, but I actually get excited when I see a name pop up on the registration page that I don’t recognize,” said Lori Briere. “That means this is spreading, it’s getting bigger. This is a great event for families and for lots of kids and Ryan would have loved it.”

Attendees gather before the raceRyan’s Run will be held from 8 to 11:30 a.m., on Sunday, Sept. 13, at Century Park, 1001 Lakeview Parkway, in Vernon Hills. The event will include activities for kids, such as a balloon entertainer, inflatable bounce house, face painting and more. While runners enjoy a scenic 5K run or walk around Big and Little Bear Lakes, families will be able to participate in the various activities. Cost is $25 per person or $22.00 per person for a family of four or more.

Girls smile for camera at Ryan's Run 5K run or walkRegistration begins at 8 a.m. and the 5K run/walk begins at 9 a.m. while the one-mile family walk begins at 10 a.m. The race will begin at Century Park’s sled hill, located on the north side of the park next to the Century Park Pavilion, where registration and family activities will take place.  

Donate or register for Ryan’s Run. For more information about philanthropy opportunities at Lake Forest Hospital, please call 847.535.6111. 

Once complete, the new Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest hospital will provide state-of-the-art care to meet the changing healthcare needs of the community for decades to come. Construction is underway on the 114-bed hospital which will be located on a campus that will include more than 7,000 feet of pedestrian and bicycle paths as well as a 6.5 acre reflecting pond and a 12-foot waterfall. The new hospital is slated to open in the fall of 2017.

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