A beautiful autumn day ushered in the return of Cancer Resource Centre’s Unite & Fight Cancer Walk and 5K Run at Munster High School.
Hundreds of participants — including cancer patients, survivors, loved ones and supporters — gathered Oct. 2 for the fundraiser, which had been put on hold for the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event not only serves as a fundraiser for the Cancer Resource Centre, but it also raises awareness about the disease and the various treatment and service options available through Community Healthcare System.
The 17th annual Unite & Fight Walk and 5K kicked off with a ceremonial lap that included cancer survivors marching around the Munster Mustangs’ football field led by a fanfare of bagpipes. Participants Dana and Richard attended their first Unite & Fight in 2018.
“We look forward to coming every year. We haven’t had the event the last two years, so it’s nice to be back,” Dana said. “I highly recommend anybody that’s going through (cancer) to reach out to the Cancer Resource Centre. It’s amazing.”
Participants in this year’s event could choose between two courses — a 5K run taking them through the streets of Munster, or a walk circling the school and its athletic facilities. Other activities included face-painting by Paint on Me, a 100-meter dash for children, various vendors, a 50/50 raffle and more.
Marie Macke, executive director of the Cancer Resource Centre, said the organization offers survivors and their families resources that promote physical and spiritual health, such as yoga classes, support groups and more, as well as practical help such as helping arrange necessary transport. She said she was thrilled to see a strong turnout of survivors and supporters at this year’s Unite & Fight.
“There’s so much support in the community, which is extremely important,” Macke said.
Anthony Andello, manager of outreach for the Cancer Resource Centre, led the coordination of the annual event, which has raised more than $1.5 million since its inception.
“We’re very excited to have the support of Community Healthcare System,” Andello said. “This event shows the dedication the healthcare system and the Community Cancer Research Foundation have in providing excellent care for local cancer patients and their loved ones.”
To learn more about the Cancer Resource Centre and Community Healthcare System’s Community Cancer Research Foundation, visit myccrf.com.