Richmond will experience a healthy dose of girl power when Run Like a Girl — a four-mile run, walk or jog — comes to Pocahontas State Park on June 1.
Run Like A Girl is a series of women-only run/walk events that aim to promote a healthy lifestyle and fight ovarian cancer. A portion of every Run Like A Girl entry is donated to the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, a nationally recognized nonprofit that works to stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research and Awareness. Participants are also encouraged to do additional fundraising to help fight ovarian cancer. Registration is open online for individuals and teams.
Run Like A Girl was founded in 2008 by Mark Junkermann and Theresa Marie Green who both lost loved ones to women’s cancers. Today, Run Like A Girl events attract hundreds of women each year to run/walk events in Richmond and Virginia Beach.
“After losing my mother to ovarian cancer, I experienced first-hand the need to spread awareness about the disease and do something to really make a difference in the lives of women fighting this fight,” said Mark Junkermann, co-founder of Run Like A Girl. “We established Run Like A Girl in that spirit to help more women know the early signs and symptoms of the disease and to fund state-of-the-art research projects that lead to advancements in the early detection, prevention and treatment of ovarian cancer.”
Since 2008, the Run Like A Girl series has raised more than $75,000 for HERA, which provides funding for cutting-edge research grants for ovarian cancer to scientists at respected medical institutions around the country. The organization also embraces projects related to raising awareness about ovarian cancer and its symptoms in different communities around the country.
In addition to Run Like a Girl and several other fundraising events across the country, HERA presents its signature Climb4Life series each year as the organization’s primary fundraiser. The Climb4Life events are rock climbing and hiking weekends, some held in indoor gyms and some held at outdoor crags in Boston, Boulder, Colo., Brooklyn, NY, Santa Ana, Calif., and Washington, D.C. Of the funds raised through Run Like A Girl, Climb4Life and other initiatives, 88 percent provides for HERA’s scientific research and community grants and ovarian cancer awareness initiatives.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 72 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2014, about 21,980 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed and about 14,270 deaths will occur. With early detection, about 94 percent will survive longer than five years after diagnosis. But, only 20 percent of ovarian cancer cases are caught early enough because there is NO effective early detection test; Pap smears do not test for ovarian cancer. For many women, by the time they are diagnosed, the cancer has already reached advanced stages. For more information about the Run Like a Girl series and events, visit www.rlagevents.com. To learn more about HERA, visit www.herafoundation.org.
Established in 2002, the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides funding for cutting-edge research grants to scientists at respected medical institutions. In addition, HERA awards grants to local community groups to raise awareness about the disease in novel and unusual ways.