Kicking off Cancer to 5K!

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of joining our survivor runners, coaches, alumni, friends, family, and fellow staff members at a truly special event, the Cancer to 5K Spring Season Kickoff Dinner.

The 2012 Kickoff was the first time in the history of the program that all three of our CT5K teams from Washington DC/Northern Virginia, Baltimore, and Howard County were in the same place, and the energy was infectious!  I was so grateful to see so many familiar faces, and even more excited to so many new ones – each time I got to meet one of our new runners or first-time volunteers, I couldn’t help but join in their enthusiasm.  Our new Cancer to 5K runners were able to share some of their starting jitters and hopes for the program with each other, and our new coaches and volunteers were able to see exactly what this program means to cancer survivors and supporters alike.

After a delicious Irish dinner at McGinty’s Public House in Silver Spring, our CEO & President Brock said something that really sums up this program expertly: “Welcome to the family.”  Crossing the finish line of the 5K race in June will be such an amazing individual accomplishment, but what will last long after race day are the ties made between cancer survivors, volunteers, stellar coaches, and amazing friends.

One of the most passionate members of the Cancer to 5K “family,” CT5K alum, Amy Babst, had some encouraging words for our new runners taking a leap of faith this spring:

“Last week we held our first event for the spring 2012 Cancer to 5K season.  I am so excited about our new group of participants!  It was the first time we’ve had everyone in one location to bond over the new path that life has taken us on.  I am so passionate about the Cancer to 5K program and what it does for you as both a participant, volunteer, and as a person!  This will be my fourth time working with the program, and just being able to meet so many cancer survivors who have beat the odds and have endured so much is truly inspirational.  We already started learning about the new participants’ cancer experience, and it’s been fun so far to compare notes on doctors, treatments, and how our life has changed since our cancer diagnosis.

Many of our runners end up more involved in the cancer community, with UCF, and quite possibly with Team Fight!  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that after completing the program I would be a part of Team Fight and even consider doing something like the Iron Girl Triathlon!  Watch out world…the possibilities are endless!

Good luck to everyone participating this spring, and a HUGE thank you to all of our amazing volunteers who come out every week to support our amazing SURVIVORS!  Looking forward to crossing the finish line with all of you!”

Like Amy said, the possibilities are endless for each of our 18 cancer survivors participating this spring, and I am so grateful and excited about being a part of something so fantastically inspiring!

Want to join the fun?  It’s not too late!  Our season has started, but we are keeping registration open just a little longer for our spring 2012 teams – find out more at http://www.cancerto5k.com or give me a call at (410) 964-0202 x.108.

As Cancer to 5K founder Holly Gannoe Shoemaker always says, “Life is good, keep on living strong, and there’s always room for MORE COWBELL!”  Congrats, team Cancer to 5K!

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About Laura Scruggs

Volunteer Maryland Coordinator at the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. Fan of the beach, the Redskins, running, good music, and great food!
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