SU junior running from Syracuse to Ithaca for Make-a-Wish

Rob Faugno running with his father Joey.

A Syracuse University junior and his father ran 54 miles from Syracuse to Ithaca to raise more than $20,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation.

Rob Faugno and his father Joey laced up their sneakers to hit every two lane highway, and small towns between Syracuse University and Cornell University.

"It's peaks and valleys right now, but every step we get closer. We get closer to the finish line, but it's nothing compared to what a wish kid goes through every day of their lives. That's his inspiration," says Joseph Faugno.

It's a way to honor Rob's sister, Bartolina, who was born with epilepsy. When she was 12 years old, she had brain surgery to help with her seizures. After her surgery, the Make-A-Wish Foundation offered her an opportunity to have a wish granted.

Instead of accepting, she wanted to make sure another child got a wish granted instead.

Friday was Bartolina's 18th Birthday. Rob decided running for the charity that offered to help her almost six years ago.


t's been good, seeing a lot of people coming out and honking at us and really showing their support which is awesome, it's an awesome feeling knowing that so many people are moved by what we're doing here today

," says Rob Faugno.

He set off at midnight from his fraternity at SU and arrived at Cornell on Friday afternoon.

Dozens of students joined Bartolina and her mother to welcome him in Ithaca.

"I like it because then I can see him and I can celebrate my birthday with him and like other people that are here," says Bartolina Faugno.

There will also be a special birthday cake at the finish line. Rob is the nephew of TLC's "Cake Boss," Buddy Valastro.

You can cheer for Rob and keep up with his journey on Facebook.

Rob hopes to make this an annual event, maybe even a relay sort of race.

"I'm really excited that it's gotten the support and the people behind to make it to make this event really special," says Rob Faugno.

Tomorrow, Cornell University will host a 5K run for charity, which steps off from the Cornell Plantation.

Fraternity brothers will be lacing up their sneakers to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation as well.