Watch: 5k to Save the Day for Midlands Girl

Columbia , S.C. (WOLO) — On Saturday, the Superhero 5k will be held at Saluda Shoals Park to raise money for a rare nerve disease that impacts hundreds of children, including Lexington County resident Jillian Nava.

“She is wild, fun, crazy, very daring,” said Jillian’s mom, Carolyn Nava. “She likes to be like her older brother, Christopher, like a tomboy, but she’s also pretty girly-girl.”

Jillian suffers from optic atrophy, a rare nerve disease that doctors say will cause Jillian to lose her vision and hearing by her teenage years. She was diagnosed at just 2 months old.

“It was devastating at first because the doctor said, ‘just let her have the best life that she can have,’ and I just felt like no mother wants to hear that,” explained Nava.

Receiving the news no mother wants to hear, Nava is making it her mission to help raise money to find a cure through the 2nd annual Superheroes 5k run.

“With no research being funded solely for this disease, that’s why we are doing this,” said Nava. “We need to find a cure for her as soon as possible and for other children who are also affected by this rare disease.”

On Saturday, everyone will run the race dressed as superheroes to help Nava reach their goal of raising $600,000 and continue to raise awareness about the disease.

“It’s so unknown,” said Nava. “They do believe that if they find a cure for this disease they could also possibly find a cure for Huntington’s disease which affects a lot more people so I believe they go hand-in-hand and it could make a difference for thousands of people in generations to come.”

The Superheroes 5k run will start at 8 am Saturday at Saluda Shoals Park. You can register by visiting Fleet Feet on Friday or register prior to the race on Saturday. If you can not attend the race, you can run virtually from any location by registering at

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