Students from Ohio University’s School of Nursing (SON)— based in the College of Health Sciences and Professions — helped raise more than $63,000 with Susan G. Komen’s 2018 Southeast Ohio Race for the Cure held on Oct. 14 at OHIO’s Peden Stadium.
A total of 937 people, including 76 cancer survivors, took part in the event, according to Kaki Scala, events manager for the race. She said funds raised are still being processed but the total is known to be at least $63,506 for the fight against breast cancer.
“Our students have chosen a profession that will allow them to work with people from all walks of life and actively engage in their community. Partnering with Komen is a great way for our future alumni to gain necessary experience and to promote preventative care in our area,” said Eliza Harper, assistant professor for SON.
Senior nursing students Ashley Sarzosa, Ryan Gordon, Francie Neal and Madeline Gilday were project leaders and part of the planning committee for SON’s affiliation with Race for the Cure. Sarzosa and Gilday promoted the event and recruited on campus while Gordon headed out into the community to do the same. Neal was in charge activities on the day of the race.
“I feel like as a person, you really grow when you take part in an event like this,” said Sarzosa.
“I thought everything was amazing,” added Gilday. “There were so many people and so many tents. It was better than I ever could have imagined.”
Gilday and Sarzosa reached out to various student organizations and groups to drum up support and increase registration. Gordon said some of Athens’ uptown bars got into the mix by creating special pink drinks with proceeds going toward the cause. Neal said that although she was nervous about running things for SON during the race, “It all went smoothly.”
The group was pleased with the turnout and the funds raised.
“That money is going back to the community,” Gilday said. “We’re donating to the mobile mammography unit which means more women can get tested for free.”
“Early detection is key,” Sarzosa added. “We’re trying to save as many lives as possible.”