Griffin Hospital invites individuals and families to join the more than 500 walkers and runners expected to support local cancer patients at the 4th Annual Center for Cancer Care 5K Walk/Run beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 6.
Starting in the cancer center’s parking lot at 350 Seymour Avenue in Derby, this event will feature entertainment and post-event refreshments for all participants and their family members. Area cancer survivors are also invited to celebrate the event at a free survivors’ reception that offers food and free massages.
Proceeds from this fun, non-competitive event are earmarked for patient support programs at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital.
One of the patients who benefitted from last year's fund iss Mickey Smith, a Shelton resident diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in October 2011.
"The people there are wonderful. Donna McAvoy in the beauty salon did everything in her power to help me through this traumatic experience. My hair thinned out quite a bit, and she was very helpful in finding a wig that was suitable for me. They made me feel like a new person again," Smith said.
Smith recently started her second round of chemotherapy, and said she feel lucky to not be sick, nauseous or in pain. As for her hair, which grew back after the first treatments ended, "I don’t know what's going to happen the second time around but I do have a wig to fall back on," she said.
Gale Jacabachi is another Shelton resident who benefitted from the 5K fund. She has been diagnosed with dermatomyositis, a rare auto-immune disease that requires ongoing chemotherapy treatments.
"My hair started to change and break off in different places. It got to a point where it thought I looked like a troll doll," Jacabachi said. "I was very self-conscious. The wig they were able to get me made a huge difference; now I feel like I look human when I go to church."
Jacabachi had been working full time before she got sick and is now on disability. She said she wouldn't have been able to afford her wig if it weren't for Griffin's help.
"I was so pleased they were able to do this because it's expensive to be able to do this stuff. To purchase a wig is not your top priority when you have kids and a house to run," she said.
Participants can walk or run individually, or may form a team with their family, friends and co-workers. Participants may also collect pledges or purchase a commemorative sign to honor or memorialize a loved one. These signs will be displayed on the day of the event.
Check-in for the event begins at 7:30 a.m., with the walk/run scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. Pre-registration is required, and the first 500 registered participants will receive long sleeve t-shirts. The Registration fee will increase from $25 to $30 after September 23.
Individuals and teams can register online at http://griffin5k.kintera.org. For more information, call 203.732.1284 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.