It wasn't because of athletics, but because the children are in a fight for their lives.
All the medals - real medals - were donated by athletes who have won races.
Candace Ransom, who organized the event, calls them Medals of Courage. She said the idea comes from her son, Lucas, who was a runner himself but was killed in a shark attack two years ago.
"He had shared his medals with other children in children's hospitals, and after his death I wanted to carry on his message of hope and encouragement to the children here who are so brave and so courageous," Ransom said.
Ransom started the drive for medals more than a year ago. Runners from across the nation and world have donated their medals.
"We hope these will be special that when they're having one of their tough days, that they can look at it and feel the strength of the rest of us all cheering them on and supporting them," Ransom said.
With each medal comes new strength. The medals also give them hope that one day they'll emerge victorious from their own struggle.