WOODSTOCK – The last person to cross the finish line during Sunday’s Care 4 Breast Cancer 5K was an elderly female cancer survivor, but she wasn’t running alone.
Celebrating alongside her for the final leg of the race were her family and other race cheerleaders. It was a fitting end to the inspirational event, said Suzanne Hoban, executive director of the Family Health Partnership Clinic.
“The power of coming together, the power of being a community and taking care of each other, supporting each other, that’s what the event was really about,” Hoban said.
Sunday’s race collected nearly $175,000 for the Family Health Partnership Clinic’s Breast Cancer Fund. Hoban said the group is well on its way to exceeding its goal of $185,000; donations are still being counted and more money is expected to come in over the coming months.
“We had a large donation come in February from last year’s race,” Hoban said. “We are really confident [that we will make our goal]. We are well ahead of where we were this time last year.”
The money raised will go toward increasing public awareness of breast cancer issues, improving access to screening and treatment resources for women and providing greater access to mammograms for women in McHenry County.
Nearly 2,600 runners and walkers participated in the 5K, which started at Woodstock North High School and continued through surrounding subdivisions.
“We’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback from people who have said this is the best organized race that they’ve been to,” Hoban said. “We try to make it a good experience for everyone and not lose sight for why everyone’s there.”
Hoban stressed that early detection is the key to a better outcome and added that women – and men – should get checked out when they feel something isn’t right with their body.
“We are all a husband, wife or sister [of someone with breast cancer],” she said. “We need to keep promoting the message to get screenings when there is an indication something is wrong.”