Laps for Lyme: Walter 12 year old raises money and awareness for Lyme Disease

Madeline Hill (front and center) and her friends completed a 5K Wednesday at Heritage Park to raise money and awareness for Lyme Disease. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala.Madeline Hill, 12, of Walter completed her 5K challenge Wednesday afternoon at Heritage Park, along with more than 20 other friends and supporters. She was also joined by her mom, Becca, and older sister, Molly. Hill, who was diagnosed with Lyme Disease when she was 8 years old, has been busy raising awareness and money for Lyme advocacy group Lyme Warrior.

According to the LymeLight Foundation, Lyme Disease is “an infection caused by the spirochetal bacteria- Borrella Burgdorferi. If left untreated, infection can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system.”

Hill is thought to have contracted Lyme through a tick when she was just 4 years old.

She is now dedicated to raising awareness so that others may not have to wait four years for a correct diagnosis and so people know to be careful regarding ticks and the illnesses they transmit. She began raising money for Lyme Warriors, and at each stage ($250, $500, $750, $1,000) the organization issued a fun challenge.

Molly Hill explained, “One challenge, I did Madeline’s makeup while blindfolded and another challenge, Madeline dyed her hair green.”

The third challenge is for Madeline to record herself singing a song.

Said Becca Hill, “She will be performing ‘Warrior’ by Avril Lavigne. It is a song she wrote about Lyme.”

The final challenge, now that Madeline Hill has reached the $1,000 fundraising goal, was the 5K.

She and a group of her best friends began their 5K run at the fountain at Heritage Park. The group made a quick loop before stopping for a drink of lemonade at their booth that suggested, “Take a Bite out of Lyme. Drink Lemonade.” The Hills also had fun items provided by Lyme Warrior to give away, as well as informative literature about the disease that often leaves Hill sick and exhausted.

Not Wednesday, though!

Hill and her personal Lyme Warriors quickly completed the 5K before taking off to the playground for even more fun.

Final totals for how much money she raised through today’s Laps for Lyme event and her “virtual 5K” are still being tallied. To donate, go to

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Joshua Riggs, Madeline Hill and Livia Riggs smile for the camera at Wednesday’s Laps for Lyme event at Heritage Park. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

Christy Perry