Nana's Run was created by Dan and Pamella DeVos' daughters, Cassandra and Sydney, as a tribute to their beloved maternal grandmother, Char VanderLaan. Affectionately called Nana, Char passed away in March 2014 after battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
After Nana VanderLaan was diagnosed with ALS in October 2013, Cassandra and Sydney made a commitment to raise awareness about the disease and to raise funds to support patient and physician education, ALS patients and their families, and ongoing research within Michigan. Their goal: to create a supportive community in West Michigan for those affected by ALS.
The first Nana’s Run was held in downtown Grand Rapids in May 2014 in partnership with the ALS Association Michigan Chapter, Mercy Health Hauenstein Center for Neurosciences, and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation. In its first six years, Nana’s Run has raised over $1.8 million, with proceeds benefiting the ALS clinic at Mercy Health and the ALS Association Michigan Chapter.
This popular 5K race continues to grow in participation every year and is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.