To say cancer has a major impact on society would be an understatement. The National Cancer Institute, part of the US National Institutes of Health, estimates that nearly 40% of all men and women receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. They also forecasted that more than 1.6 million new cases of cancer would be discovered and diagnosed in 2016 — and in the US alone.

Clearly, there’s still much work to be done as far as cancer research and treatment go, as well as helping patients and survivors pay back their exorbitant medical costs. A recent 5K in Wellington, Florida funneled its funds back into cancer research and recovery to help those affected by the disease.

The Beacon of Hope 5K Run/Walk

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, at 7:30 a.m., participants in the Beacon of Hope 5K Run/Walk took off from the starting line at Tiger Shark Cove Park. Former Wellington resident Kevin P. Enterlein established the race before succumbing to colon cancer last year. The race is now run in his memory, and his wife and two children organize the event and run the non-profit in his absence.

The entry fee for the race included medals and t-shirts for all participants. Everyone takes home a little memory of Enterlein, too: the goodie bags include free colon cancer bracelets for everyone to wear and raise awareness for the disease.

Where Will the Money Go?

Enterlein founded the Beacon of Hope 5K Run/Walk in order to help support families going through the trials and tribulations of cancer treatment — an experience he knew all too well. Standard chemotherapy and radiation take so much out of a person; a tumor-removal surgery can leave a patient bedridden in recovery, unable to work.

As such, Enterlein wanted to raise money to help cancer patients and their families to help cover the costs of all of the medications, doctor’s visits, imaging tests, hospital stays, clinic visits and home care. Participation in the race will help make his dream a reality.

What Else Can I Do To Help?

Of course, not everyone is able to make it to the starting line of these races. Fortunately, there are so many other ways to help the cause, whether it’s through Beacon of Hope or through another cancer-focused charity organization.

In order to ensure the money you’re donating to a cancer research organization — or any other charity, for that matter — will go to the cause of your choice, be sure to do some consumer research about the organization before you donate. You’ll find that different organizations give different amounts of money raised back into the cause they support. Of course, many non-profits have to pay staff and cover running costs, but some hold onto more funds than others, and that may be important as you choose where to donate.

You can also donate your time with a volunteering program or event, too. The American Cancer Society, for example, has several volunteer opportunities. They have an urgent need for volunteers to drive patients to and from appointments. They also need volunteers to give patients advice on how to style their hair and make-up during treatment, organize their annual Relay For Life, and provide support if you, too, are a survivor of cancer.

No matter how you choose to help — whether it be through running a 5K or through donating, fundraising or volunteering — you can rest assured that you’re making a positive change in someone’s life. And, to a cancer patient fighting for their life, that can mean everything.


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About Author

Kate Harveston covers social justice and human rights issues. She graduated with a Bachelors in English and minored in Criminal Justice, so she enjoys writing about anything related to the intersections of law, politics and culture. For more of her writing, you can visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.