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Runners and Walkers help "Beat the Odds"
Published: 08/30/2012 10:00:00
Cancer Connection's "Beat the Odds" Women's Race against Breast Cancer was last Saturday at Riverbend Elementary school, it was one of those rainy mornings that we're all unfortunately too used to, but in spite of the weather, and in true Juneau style, people came out of the woodwork to support an organization whose very roots were formed with caring and compassion in the face of adversity.
Ruth Johnson, the treasurer for Cancer Connection and the event director of the Beat the Odds Race, explained those roots.

"Cancer connection was founded by Mike Miller, a swim coach from Juneau who was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer and felt very alone when he had to fly out of Southeast Alaska for cancer treatment and decided that if he survived he wanted to make sure no one ever had to feel that way again."

Close to five hundred runners and walkers turned out for the annual event, which has multiple far reaching meanings and purposes. As the treasurer for Cancer Connection, Ruth Johnson has an intimate knowledge of what those purposes are.

"Well this race is a breast cancer race, and so it's primarily to raise awareness and provide education opportunities about breast cancer, the funding itself is a primary source for Cancer Connection's travel assistance fund. And we have two different travel programs, one we can directly reimburse up to seven hundred and fifty dollars a year in travel related expenses. And then our other great travel program that we just implemented last year that we're thrilled with is we have an apartment in Seattle that we subsidize with some of the proceeds from events like this for cancer patients because often times when you're traveling from Southeast you need to spend prolonged periods of time in the city and well even if your insurance may cover travel it's not going to cover housing for you to be out of town for two to six weeks for radiation and chemotherapy. Generally the people we are able to house in that apartment really need some place to stay for six weeks and not spend a hundred or two hundred dollars a night in a hotel."

And thanks in part to Cancer Connections "Beat the Odds" Race, many of them won't have to.

By: Rik Pruett -