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‘Get Your Rear in Gear’

Event organizers looking for sponsors

LADD — The fifth annual Get Your Rear in Gear Ladd Style 5K is speedily approaching.

This year's event will be held on Saturday, May 24 in hopes to raise awareness of colon cancer and what to do to prevent the illness and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

This will be the fifth and final race coordinator Kathy Martin is planning.

Martin is a survivor of colon cancer.

"'You have colon cancer.' Those four words changed by life," she stated in a press release. "After multiple surgeries and a year of chemotherapy and radiation, I fought the horrible disease."

Martin was diagnosed in October 2008, and as of December, is now cancer free.

"I am a survivor," she said. "I'm so thankful for the technology, medicine, doctors and nurses that helped me through the battle. However, my family and friends deserve the biggest thank you because without them I am not sure I would have made it. The support of this community is nothing short of awe-inspiring."

The Get Your Gear in Rear event will be more than just a day to honor cancer survivors and remember those who have lost the battle, but also a day to spread the awareness that a colonoscopy can save lives.

"I want everyone to know that a healthy lifestyle can drastically reduce the risk of getting colon cancer and many other diseases as well," Martin said.

Last year, more than 500 runners raced in the fourth Ladd Get You Rear in Gear event.

"This year we hope to raise $25,000," Martin said.

Grants from last year's event provided free training session at the YMCA for cancer patients and purchased more than a dozen tablet personal computers for Illinois Cancer Care patient use.

"Fifteen thousand dollars of the funds raised last year stayed in the Illinois Valley for use by our own neighbors and friends," Martin announced.

The National Colon Cancer Coalition will be supporting this year's run, but in order to have a successful race, the Ladd Get Your Rear in Gear Committee is looking for local sponsorships.

"Any amount you can provide for sponsorship or donation would be appreciated," Martin said. "Although this is sponsored by the Colon Cancer Coalition, Get Your Rear in Gear is better than just a message for colon cancer; it is a message for all of us to take action to lead healthier, longer lives."

Those who are interested in sponsoring the event should contact Martin at 815-878-0268 or email at

The Get Your Rear in Gear event will begin at 9 a.m. May 24 at the Ladd Community Center.

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