By Jessica Mathews/

A fundraising event this weekend will benefit a non-profit that supports families facing major life-altering circumstances, including a local girl who recently overcame a heart transplant and has suffered from years of major health ailments.

Fund a Life will host its 5th Annual Heart of Hope 5K & Flow event, Casting Hope into the Community this Saturday at Brighton High School. The event features a combination of options for attendees, including a 5K run, a one-mile walk and/or yoga for those who don’t want to run or walk. The non-profit is partnering with The Space for the event, a local yoga studio. Once runners and walkers return, a one-hour yoga session will take place.

Fund a Life Founder Mark Howell joined WHMI’s Mike & Jon in the Morning and said they’ve partnered with a girl named Tiffany Henry from Highland Township, who goes by the nickname cupcake, and just celebrated her 8th birthday on Monday. Howell said they had already branded the 5K with the heart and hope message before they knew Tiffany’s story and when they saw the application, everything aligned.

Howell says Tiffany had a heart transplant earlier this year but has been riddled with medical issues for her short life. He says the family had to essentially redo their entire home to make it safe for her now immune-compromised system to come home. Howell says not only was Tiffany in the hospital for a number of months recovering, but the family had to move into a hotel while home was ripped apart. He says they now have medical debt and debt from their home and have done everything they possibly can from fundraising to taking out loans.

Tiffany’s family and supporters will be at the event to share some of their story. A portion of the funds raised will be awarded to directly help the family while the remainder will help support others facing major life-altering circumstances across Livingston County. Six former grant recipients will also be celebrated during the event.

More information is available in the attached press release and web link.