LADD — More than 400 people are expected to gather in Ladd this Saturday to raise awareness of the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer.
The fifth annual Get Your Rear in Gear run/walk 5K will step off at 7 a.m. with registration, packet pick-up, speeches and music. The walk/run begins at 9 a.m. The day will include opportunities for celebration of the survivors, support for caregivers and remembrance of those who lost their battle.
Event Director Kathy Martin, who is a colon cancer survivor herself, explained this race is one among many across the country and is proud to host the race in the Illinois Valley, along with some of the biggest cities in America.
“I was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 49. My family and I participated in the first Chicago race the spring after my diagnosis and then decided to hold an event in Ladd to raise awareness and funds for local needs,” she explained. “This event has been near and dear to my heart for five years, and I am so proud the way our community has embraced it and supported the cause.”
An important factor about Saturday’s event is the funds raised will stay in the Illinois Valley to help with prevention, early detection and treatment, and healthy living projects for this disease.
Martin confirmed last year’s event brought in more than $12,000, which was distributed to the Bureau County Health and Wellness Center, Illinois Valley Community Hospital and St. Margaret’s Hospital.
Funds raised during the past years have been used for things like tablet computers at the Cancer Center, test kits, personal training, educational support and supplies for the new Endo Units.
Martin said she’s hopeful to raise even more monies than last year to further support cancer prevention.
“It’s been overwhelming with all the support the community has shown in past years. We have some people coming this year from even one or two hours away to help show their support,” she said. “We’re hoping to have another successful year and help raise awareness and increase screening rates for the cancer.”
Online registration will be ongoing until Wednesday. Participants may visit ColonCancerCoalition.org to register. Information about volunteering, fundraising, sponsoring an event or forming a team is also posted on the website. There will also be race day registration available at the event.
Packet pick-up and registration will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday in the Ladd Community Center. There will be a volunteer meeting at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday in the community center.
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