A group of 27 students are trying to make an impact on thousands of lives. The 4K for Cancer stopped in Evansville again this week. The fourth stop in the River City. They are on a cross country run raising money to make patients better.
Monday was a day off the road, but they were still trying to make a difference.
Cancer doesn’t care who you are. It didn’t care when it chose Sarah Gilley, or anyone else at the Chancellor Oncology Center at Deaconess Gateway Hospital.
“My whole ordeal started March 28th of this year, 2016,” Gilley says from her chair. “On April 13th I had surgery, and from then on I knew I had cancer.”
Now she’s in a battle with ovarian cancer. She’s stuck in her chair, hooked to beeping, flashing gadgets by a needle in her arm.
“Your life changes, your perspective on life changes,” she says. “Things are sweeter. But it definitely makes you not talk yourself out of that next experience. Because nothing is a guarantee.”
The current experience for this group of 27 is the 4K for Cancer. But the 4K doesn’t stand for 2.48 miles. These folks are running 4,000 miles from San Francisco to Baltimore. They’re meeting hundreds of people like Sarah who are battling something far more difficult than just miles on the road.
“We’ve had to run up hills,” says runner Erin Maley. “And even if it’s hot and miserable for two seconds, they’ve had to go through this for years.”
But Sarah isn’t just learning about their journey vicariously. She’s on a mission to educate as well.
“I want to take what I’m going through and turn that around and educate women,” Gilley says. “Ovarian cancer is the cancer they say that whispers. It’s a woman’s cancer, only. It’s solely ours. And it’s not pink, not all cancer is pink. And it’s not pretty. So I don’t think it gets as much attention as it deserves.”
The 4K for Cancer is supposed to last 49 days. Monday marked number 37. They’ve got 10 more days of running, with two rest days, to the east coast. To date, the campaign has raised right around $5 million.