On June 10th, Kelly Barton and up to 200 of her “breast friends” will gather at Alton-Baker Park in Eugene, OR for a 5k fun run & walk benefiting the Oregon Cancer Foundation. Barton, an Executive Assistant for Timber Products Company and the event organizer, received her breast cancer diagnosis in January 2018.
“In the beginning, I thought, 'this is horrible, I'm going to have to go through chemo and surgery,'” Barton said. “But then I thought, ‘something positive needs to come from this.’”
Barton, age 46, is an avid runner and organizing a 5k was on Barton’s long-term to-do list. “I was trying to figure out how to celebrate my last chemo, and one of my friends said, 'you need to plan your own 5k, that's your celebration.' Planning this fun run & walk really helped take my mind off of what I was going through.”
The My Breast Friends 5k came together with the help of Barton’s many friends. One is running a silent auction before the event, others are providing food donations, and some are creating funny signs to motivate runners along the route.
Barton also found a new friend and 5k supporter during chemotherapy, “I met a woman who owns all the McDonald's in town and she's donating gift cards for the silent auction. We became friends and check in with each other to see how we're handling the chemo treatment and the side effects.”
My Breast Friends 5k Fast Facts
- When: Sunday, June 10th, 2018. Check-in is from 9:15-9:45 a.m., the event begins at 10 a.m.
- Where: Alton-Baker Park in Eugene, Oregon.
- Parking: There is plenty of free parking.
- Cost: $25 prior to the event, or $30 at the event.
- Route: View the course map
A commemorative t-shirt is available for participants who register on or before May 31st. “The t-shirts are really cool,” Barton said. “I was very particular. I don't buy a lot of the run shirts because I don't like the fit. We chose tech shirts, not just cotton t-shirts and they’re available in men’s and women’s sizes.”
Proceeds Benefit Oregon Cancer Foundation
The event is a fundraiser for Oregon Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit that provides advice and financial support for cancer patients. “I picked Oregon Cancer Foundation because all the money raised will stay in Oregon,” Barton said. My goal is to help people in our community that are going through what I'm going through.”
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. And while this disease claims the lives of nearly 41,000 women in the U.S. each year, survival rates have been increasing since 1989. Treatment advances, increased awareness and early detection help more women survive. Barton says her cancer was caught early and her prognosis is very good.
“I’ve been lucky to have incredible support from Timber Products Company,” said Barton. “I can't imagine working anywhere else and going through this. It's very family-oriented and that makes such a difference in my recovery and treatment.”
Ready to take a run at cancer? Fight like Kelly Barton and register for My Breast Friends 5k on June 10th, 2018. If you’re not a runner or cannot attend the event, show your support with a donation. Learn more on the Facebook event page.