Skip to main content

An 11-Year-Old’s Vision to Find a Cure

By July 18, 2018January 17th, 2024Featured, NF1

In 2014, when Chloe Peterson of Yakima Valley, Washington was just 11 years old, while her tween peers were busy checking out Disney’s Frozen, Chloe was finding a way to make a difference. She says, “I wanted to do something to spread awareness for local charities and causes close to my heart.” What did she do? She organized the Valley Moves 5K. “I started the race because I saw a lack of family friendly sporting events in my community,” said Chloe.

This year, now 15 years old, she decided to dedicate the proceeds from the race to the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Chloe’s cousin has an 8-year-old daughter, Eliana, with NF1 and her family also has a close friend, Shannon, with NF1. Having seen the toll NF has taken on both families first hand, Chloe wanted to do her part to raise awareness and help find a cure.

Eliana, diagnosed at age 5, is described as, “a very happy girl with a bubbly personality.” Now a very joyful and energetic 8-year-old, Eliana loves reading, taking swimming and harp lessons, and anything with arts and crafts. For the most part, she has had a mild and stable condition although her care team at Seattle Children’s NF Clinic is currently monitoring a bone tumor growing under her left kneecap. Her family has loved meeting new friends through CTF and Eliana has even made a pen pal friend with NF. Her parents, Jason and Talia, told us, “It means so much to have Chloe organize this event in an honor of Eliana and those affected with NF.”


Shannon is 12 years old now and her family first noticed café au lait spots at 6 months old. Having no family history or prior experience with NF, they didn’t think much of it until a plexiform tumor began growing a year later. The tumor was partially removed and analyzed and she was then given an official diagnosis of NF1. Shannon’s interest in all things medical has given her a keen perspective of her disorder and she is generally a happy and well-adjusted preteen. With support from her family and friends and care from Seattle Children’s Hospital’s NF Clinic, she is thriving despite her diagnosis.


When asked what she finds to be rewarding about organizing a charity 5K, Chloe said, “The most rewarding part would have to be hearing people’s stories; knowing that every charity I raise funds for is making an enormous difference in people’s lives.”

Her advice to other teenagers who want to organize an event for a charity is to remember that you don’t have to do it on your own. You should not be afraid to ask for help. She humbly told us, “I definitely could not have done this without help.”

To learn more, donate, or register for the Valley Moves 5K and 10K Family Run, please visit: