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5K run focuses on battle against various cancers

Oct. 23, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The ladies in pink are wonderful. They fight the battle, show their pride and work hard to raise awareness to help others. Breast cancer awareness is a big part of October in this community and many others, said Julie Hewett of Huntington.

But she's one of more than 300 people who will participate Saturday in a Cabell Huntington Hospital event to serve as a reminder that there are people in the community battling a number of other cancers.

Cabell Huntington Hospital is hosting the Colors of Cancer 5K Run & Walk at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Ritter Park. The event was organized to highlight the many cancers that are faced by the people of the Tri-State Community and raise awareness by encouraging runners and walkers to dress in colors representing different cancers. Orange is for kidney cancer and leukemia, for example. Gray is for brain cancer. Lime green is for lymphoma.

Proceeds will go toward the Good Samaritan Fund at Cabell Huntington's Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center. The fund helps cancer patients with hidden costs of cancer not covered by insurance, such as buying gas for trips to chemotherapy treatments, wigs, prostheses, hotel stays and others.

Gas cards are a big need, said Charles Shumaker, media and community relations manager at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

"Our patients at the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center come from two or three hours away, and one thing that is helpful that can be taken from this fund are those gas cards," he said. "That can be a big stress. If you don't drive a car with great mileage, that can really add up. ... We hope this will help alleviate some of the stresses associated with their battle."

Gearing up in teal and white this Saturday with a team of supporters behind her will be Hewett, a 49-year-old who is a three-year cervical cancer survivor.

"I have a real passion for this race because of the fact that it supports everybody," she said. "There are more people affected by other cancers, and I've always felt they also need supported and rallied behind and awareness promoted."

Hewett, owner of JulNet Solution, an association and event management company, said she immediately jumped on board at the thought of a walk to represent all the colors and types of cancer.

"I think it is a phenomenal idea. To know that someone with thyroid cancer can have a team and build awareness or pediatric cancer or prostate cancer -- they now have a place for them," she said. "We want to raise funds to help (those in) treatment, and we want to raise awareness for prevention and support those who have fought the battle and pay tribute to those who have lost. This is a phenomenal opportunity to do that."

Registration for the race begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Ritter Park Shelter. The cost is $20 per participant, now through race day. Register online at tristateracer.com/cancer or call 304-399-6742 for more information.



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