Seattle Cherry Blossom Run

Sat March 25 - Sun March 26, 2023


Cherry Blossom Run to End Brain Cancer

Donation Goal: $25,000

My name is Jimmy Addison, Race Director for the Seattle Cherry Blossom Run.
I just turned 40 years old. I am battling terminal brain cancer.

I was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor about eight months ago -
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), Grade 4, Primary tumor... to be specific.

Don't worry! Because I am lucky to be surrounded by family, friends, a professional race crew made up by Fizz Events, Competitive Timing, UW Botanical Gardens, UW Special Events, UW Facilities, UW Athletics, UW Transportation, City of Seattle, Seattle Parks and Rec, and by all of you!

Soon we plan to enable a limited charity runners to fundraise through this event! Whether it be for UW Botanic Gardens, cancer research, of any other causes you care about!

A little race history:

The Seattle Cherry Blossom Run is my "brain-child", my passion :)

I lived across from UW in the Montlake area for years. I would go on runs around the UW campus all the time and enjoyed the cherry blossoms at the UW Quad every spring.

So I came to the UW Botanic Gardens department on campus in 2018 to start the running/walking event annually! I envisioned a running event on the UW campus took full advantage plants, trees, wildlife, the landscape, architecture, and of course the 100+ cherry trees! 

I also developed an affinity towards Japanese culture as a nod to the many gifted cherry trees to Seattle from Japan decades ago.

Anyway, the participation for this running event has exploded! And for good reason - the UW cherry blossoms are nationally known and stunning to see and the running course is thrilling! 


I got diagnosed with a brain tumor about the size of a plum last May 16, 2022. After a successfully surgery/resection, it's growing again slightly. A second surgery may not be an option because of the risk of damaging healthy areas. And statistically, people have 14 months left to live. But I am a fighter and will continue to live my running event dreams!

The Story:

So while I was running around the Washington Park Arboretum, I was planning another race for the UW Botanic Gardens called "Autumn in the Arboretum!" which would be an autumn version to the Seattle Cherry Blossom Run, just featuring Japanese maple trees and colorful, beautiful autumn leaves.

I felt slightly light-headed at the end of my run and noticed I couldn't text well. Fortunately, I was able to drive home.

Then, the scariest thing of my life happened.

I became severely disoriented, dropping my phone. I was feeling lost in my own home. I was so confused!

I remembered first calling my mother. My mother said, frantically, "what's wrong, what's the matter, James? Are you okay? Are you having a stroke?!" And I realized that I literally couldn't speak coherently!

I cried. Scared, mumbling, I replied, "I don't know what is happening to me!"

My mother called my best friend who took me to the Emergency Room, who essentially saved my life because I was going downhill fast. After my CT and MRI scan at the ER I couldn't even remember anything after that.

I became semi-conscious and got taken to Harborview Medical Center for an emergency, high-risk brain surgery the next day!

The next thing I know, I woke up on a hospital bed. I survived a brain surgery.

The rest of my life is forever changed, in a frustrating way.

After many months of rehab, radiation, and chemo, I'm left with expressive aphasia, apraxia, and focal left arm seizures if managed well.

Speaking about aphasia, you couldn't imagine me taking three hours to write this and edit, but I did it!

Numbers, sentence structure, and searching for words to say are especially hard on me!|

I am still on chemotherapy therapy and other medications. I am considering clinic trials and lifestyle changes.

But I am currently feeling better and excited to do another Cherry Blossom Run season at UW!

Closing thoughts:

The irony about my brain tumor journey - is I truly feel alive! As if I have the actual life-span of a cherry blossom: short and sweet, but full of passion and wonder!

And cherry blossoms remind me of the beauty in life, but now also how frail and short life can be for me, and all of us!

But I know life is not about how long a blossom may live, or how long any of US have to live, but HOW we live our lives, right?!

So go experience the UW cherry blossoms this March if you haven't yet! There are over a 100 cherry trees on campus, and 29 mesmerizing yoshino cherry trees blossoming in the UW Quad! Do not hesitate to participate and join the cherry blossom scene for the brief period of time they cherry blossoms bloom!

Lastly, live like a cherry blossom and burst with life on nature's stage at the Seattle Cherry Blossom Run!

See you there!

Jimmy Addison, Race Director
Seattle Cherry Blossom Run

Top Donors

$16,738 Raised By 684 Donors

$250 on behalf of Jason Sacks
$150 on behalf of Andrea Wampler
$150 on behalf of Ashley Roncevich
$150 on behalf of Brendan Farrell
$150 on behalf of Brent Miller
$150 on behalf of Colin Scott
$150 on behalf of Happy Lucky Family
$150 on behalf of Melissa Young
$150 on behalf of Mila Boyd
$150 from Anonymous
$150 on behalf of Paul Jones
$150 on behalf of Sara Barnes
$150 on behalf of Shelan Stritzke
$150 on behalf of Todd Dardas
$150 on behalf of Yomara Naiden
$100 on behalf of Aaron Cassidy
$100 from Anonymous
$100 on behalf of Cassi Alexander
$100 on behalf of Chari Chase
$100 on behalf of Daoman Jin and his family
$100 from Anonymous
$100 on behalf of Heidi Donahue
$100 from Anonymous
$100 on behalf of Joseph Lee
$100 on behalf of JUYI KUO

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