CHICAGO, May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 4,000 people are expected to participate in the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University's 23rd Annual Cancer Survivors' Celebration Walk & 5K Run in Chicago's Grant Park on Sunday, June 5 - National Cancer Survivors Day. One of the nation's largest cancer survivorship events, the celebration brings cancer survivors, families and friends together with the physicians, scientists and health professionals who support them in a tribute to cancer survivors and the breakthroughs being made in cancer treatment and research. Participants will have the option of joining a non-competitive walk or a chip-timed 5K along the lakefront.
"Our Annual Cancer Survivors' Celebration provides a wonderful opportunity to honor cancer survivors, celebrate advances and look toward the future," said Leonidas C. Platanias, MD, PhD, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. "Lurie Cancer Center and Northwestern Medicine clinicians and researchers are focused not only on providing innovative cancer care, but also expanding the programs and support to improve our patients' quality of life after treatment. We are proud to stand with our patients and their families. Their strength and resilience inspires everything we do."
The Cancer Survivors' Celebration Walk & 5K will feature family-friendly activities, including a picnic, t-shirts, music, entertainment and the opportunity to hear directly from cancer survivors including Jeff Samuels, who was diagnosed in August 2014 with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a rare form of leukemia. While he was treated for APL, his younger sister Abbey was also receiving treatment at the Lurie Cancer Center for stage 4 glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Jeff, who has been in remission since December 2014, participates in the Cancer Survivors' Celebration Walk & 5K in memory of Abbey, who passed away in November 2014, and in honor of everyone who has been touched by cancer.
"Living with and surviving cancer, both as a caregiver and as a patient, has shown me many different things," said Samuels, who lives in Deerfield with his wife and two daughters. "The biggest is that all of us are affected by cancer every day, whether we like it or not. We are either someone who is being treated for cancer or beat cancer, or we know someone who is fighting cancer or had cancer. We're all survivors in some way and this event is a way for us all to celebrate together and remember those who we have lost."
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship defines someone as a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis and for the balance of life. Advancements in cancer research and treatments, as well as early detection and improved follow-up care have led to dramatic increases in the number of cancer survivors. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 14.5 million people with a history of cancer are alive in the United States, with that number expected to climb to more than 18.9 million by 2024.
Anyone who would like to support the Lurie Cancer Center's mission to overcome cancer has the option to create a personalized, online fundraising page or to join a fundraising team when registering. All funds raised will directly benefit vital cancer research to help develop more effective cancer therapies and train the next generation of physicians and scientists. Donations will also help support the Lurie Cancer Center's cancer survivorship and supportive oncology programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which are dedicated to improving the lives of patients and families. Fundraising is optional and no minimum donation is required.
Online advance registration is available at cancer.northwestern.edu/walk and in-person advance registration and T-shirt pickup is available at locations across Chicagoland May 31 to June 3. Online registration closes June 3 at 5 p.m. Advance registration for the walk is $25 ($35 event day) and $50 for the 5K ($60 event day). Registration includes t-shirts (dri-fit shirts for runners) access to the picnic and all of the morning's activities. Registration will open at 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, in Grant Park (Columbus Drive at Balbo, southwest corner). The 5K run starts at 9:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. Onsite registration will also be available. For more information or questions, visit the website or call 312-695-1300.
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SOURCE Northwestern Medicine