Nearly 1,000 runners, including Grand Rapids running legend Greg Meyer and three current and former Olympic athletes, are set to run in the inaugural Nana’s Run, a 5K run/walk this morning, starting at 10 a.m. through the streets and along the river in downtown Grand Rapids. The proceeds from Nana's Run will go towards the continued efforts of the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neuroscience Center in Grand Rapids and fund the ALS Association Michigan Chapter.

The event will pay tribute to the late Char VanderLaan, grandmother to Cassie and Sydney DeVos, fondly known as Nana, who recently passed away from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative illness that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and is difficult to diagnose due to minimal research.