The 11th Annual Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation Fun Run was held on Saturday, and the survivors won.
First across the finish line for the men was Keith Gray at a little more than 18 minutes. Evan O’Connell came in at a little over 20 minutes to pace the women. They were the runners who took home the first-place trophies, but the winners were the women resplendent in pink who had survived breast cancer and were celebrating life.
The survivors were everywhere with their families and teams, all of them in pink, calling attention to October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of them walked the 3.1 mile course from the starting line at the Sun Realty office in Avon; some rode bikes; but all of them made it to the timer at the finish line.
The real story though are the many tales of triumph over fear.
There was Kim Martin, newly cancer-free, decked out from head to toe in pink—including her pink hat and pink wig.
“I’m walking, not running,” she said.
Saturday began as a hot, humid day, and by the time Martin got to the finish line, she was carrying her hat and wig, but she and her team did walk across the finish line together.
Claudia and Jan Laskow rode their bikes. The focus of Team PowPow during her breast cancer treatment in 2012-2013, it was hard to miss Claudia, with her pink frilly tutu and pink boxing gloves on the front of her bike.
“I drove them crazy at the UNC Cancer Center. I would dress up the chemo containers with a tutu,” Claudia said.
The medicine and treatment was provided by the medical team at UNC, but it was the community that gave the Laskows the support that carried them through.
“I don’t know how we could have paid for this without the help of the foundation,” Jan said. After one of Claudia’s treatments, I went down to the hospital pharmacy to get the medicine for one of her shots, and it was $7,000.”
Helping with the financial burden of cancer treatment is one of the ways the HICF provides support to Hatteras Island families, according to the foundation’s vice president and race director, Donna Barnett. “We help with medical expenses that are not covered by insurance,” she said. “We also help with travel expenses. That’s one of the largest expenses a lot of times.”
The 5K is the biggest fundraiser for the foundation and, according to Barnett, this year’s event was tremendously successful. “We had over $5,000 before the day even started,” she said. “We keep asking and they keep giving. The whole community supports us and we couldn’t do what we do without them.”
The final total raised for cancer patients was more than $9,000 from 107 runners and walkers and other donations.
The donations include a contribution from Jan and Claudia Laskow’s business, Outer Banks Fire Protection. “They helped us so much,” Jan said. “We had to give back.”
Kim Martin won the award for the Most Pinked Out adult, and Nova Forman won in the children’s category.
If you didn’t participate in the Fun Run, you can still support the foundation with a donation.
While supplies last, all who make donations will receive free pink Fun Run T-shirts. Make a donation at http://www.hicf.org/donations.html and then send an e-mail to [email protected] with how many T-shirts and what sizes you would like. Also include your mailing address.
The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation is a non-profit giving support and aid to Hatteras Island residents undergoing cancer treatment. For more information, go to the foundation website at www.hicf.org.
In addition to financial aid, the HICF sponsors a cancer support group the third Wednesday of the month at the Our Lady of the Seas Recreational Hall in Buxton.
The HICF Fun Run course through Kinnakeet Shores has been recently certified by USA Track & Field’s Road Running Technical Council as 5,000 kilometers.
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