Pittsburgh teenager who has been raising money for cancer research since 2017 holds final wagon walk

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh teen who has been raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 2017 held his last wagon walk Sunday.

Channel 11 first introduced you to Austin Martinelli over five years ago when he first heard about the “Partner in Hope” program on the radio. He was just 9 years old when he held his first wagon walk. Now, he is 16 years old and finished his fifth and final one.

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“With it being younger kids and the hospital kind of runs on donations, it’s a big thing. It gives you the motivation to know it’s going to a good cause,” said Martinelli.

Martinelli has raised over $35,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since he first started his journey.

“We’re very proud of him. This was supposed to be a one-time thing, the walk. He wanted to take the check to St. Jude, but you have to be 16. We thought that would be the end of it,” said Austin’s mom, Michelle Cozzo.

While Sunday marked Martinelli’s last wagon walk, he does not want his work to end there. He plans on continuing to raise money for St. Jude and participating in the hospital’s walk and run in September.

“It’s a good feeling to know we have raised that much,” said Cozzo.

Martinelli and Cozzo hope to tour St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital once COVID-19 restrictions have eased and they are allowed to visit.

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