RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than $340,000 has been raised to help tackle pediatric brain cancer.

One Raleigh family has used the loss of their daughter, to try to ensure other families and children will not go through the same struggles and grief that they have.

On a cloudy, rainy Saturday morning, the bright pink banners and t-shirts stood out like a glimmer of hope.

“You can do small things to make a big impact,” said Renae Newmiller.

Ella Newmiller (Courtesy of Ella’s Race)

It’s been 11 years since her daughter, Ella, died from an aggressive, in-operable brain tumor.

The family has used their grief to carry on her legacy.

“We think of Ella every single day,” said Newmiller. “We don’t want to see children suffering the way Ella did, or other families suffering the way that we did.”

Each year, hundreds walk or run in Ella’s Race, hoping that one day there will be a cure. 

“There are billions of dollars dedicated by our government for research for cancer. Only 4% goes towards childhood cancer and that’s all [kinds of] childhood cancer,” explained Newmiller. “So, if you break it down to pediatric brain cancer, that amount of money for research is not enough. That’s why we’re out here. That’s why we do this.” 

Chick-fil-A Capital Crossing and Chick-fil-A Falls Village hosted this year’s event. Since 2008, the teams heard of the Newmillers’ story and started fundraisers called “Ellabration.”

Ella died before the group could launch the first “Ella’s Race.” 

Each of the participants took the mark and braved the cold, because many can connect with the Newmillers’ struggle.

“My mother had cancer. Thank god she pulled through her breast cancer, but some people aren’t as fortunate,” said Lev Kakasenko, who ran Saturday.  “I hope they’ll raise a significant amount of money for research. I think that’s a tangible goal that will have an immediate impact on people with cancer because we’ll have more money going towards research.” 

(Al Currie/CBS 17)

In the meantime, the community is leaning on each other.

“This is such a bittersweet day for us, always. We feel this is the best way we can honor her life,” said Newmiller. “People continue to be her legacy and to be part of that. To bring hope to children and families who are facing a hopeless diagnosis. That’s her legacy and we couldn’t be prouder.”