SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Cancer affects almost everyone at some point in their life, whether personally or through a family member or friend. An upcoming event will benefit those directly affected by the disease.

Runners and walkers of all ages are gearing up to support and raise money in Avera’s Race Against Cancer on Saturday.

It’s the 34th year of the event.

“Over those 34 years we’ve raised approximately $8 million for cancer services at the Cancer Institute, we are very proud of the fact that every single penny of those have stayed local, stayed here with Avera, stayed here with our community, with our families, our mothers, our fathers, our friends,” manager of community giving for Avera Foundation, Elijah Bonde said.

The race has helped raise money for different programs, some of which directly affect patients by helping them through their cancer journey.

Janelle Jamtgaard has been in remission since 2019. She will also be walking in this year’s race.

“I was diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma lung cancer in 2018 and I did immunotherapy for about nine months and then my body didn’t take it anymore, so they stopped and I’ve been cancer-free since then,” cancer survivor, Janelle Jamtgaard said.

For the last two years, the race has been virtual. This year, it’s back in person.

“We will be back to that positive, energetic time together with survivors, their families, and our sponsors, and supporters of this event,” logistics coordinator, Avera Race Against Cancer, Jackie Haggar-Tuschen said.

And the impact is much more than just raising money.

“The support is always great, it just spurs you on and makes you want to try harder and work harder for it and it’s nice to have that support from your family, friends, the community, to help encourage you,” Jamtgaard said.

Race organizers say they are still looking for volunteers on race day to help cheer the runners and walkers on. There is a 1.5 mile and three mile walk, as well as a 5K and 10K.