Lota Ward: “I just want to get back to running.”
Meet Lota Ward, ultra runner and Padres Pedal the Cause SuperKid.
Lota, now 12, began running long distances with his dad when he was just 7 years old, using the time on trail to clear his mind and connect with his family. He competed in his first half marathon, and was hooked, signing up for progressively longer distances. A few days after his 8th birthday, Lota was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain teratoma, and quickly underwent a series of brain surgeries to try to wipe out the tumor.
In 2016, Fox Sports made a documentary of Lota’s story, following him through training on the trails near his Utah home to negotiating the complex emotions of multiple brain surgeries. Through it all, Lota focused on getting back to running as a way of helping others.
Last year, the Ward family moved to San Diego, where Lota underwent another craniotomy to address the tumor that had grown back again. But with each surgery, Lota’s resolve grows stronger. “I got this, you got this, WE GOT THIS!” is Lota’s rallying cry, and he faces each appointment and surgery with the same perspective that he uses to attack the trail: stand tall and fight.
Padres Pedal the Cause founder Bill Koman, and Bill’s Team, ride in honor of Lota. You can join Lota and his family at the new 5K this year at Padres Pedal the Cause on November 17 or give in support of Bill’s Team and help us pave the way for kids like Lota to live in a world without cancer.