SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Next weekend people will lace up their shoes for the Avera Race Against Cancer.

The event is close to Emily Sass’ heart.

She was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer more than eight years ago.

“I think you’re kind of just in a state of shock of the news you’re hearing, especially not having cancer in my family it was really unexpected,” Emily Sass said.

On Thursday, the survivor and her husband volunteered ahead of the race.

They were busy putting packets together for teams taking part in the event.

“Really just to support a great cause, something that we’re really passionate about and just a chance to give back,” Matt Sass said.

About 5,500 people are signed up for the 35th annual race so far.

“We’ve got all types of people from all across the state of South Dakota, Minnesota, and all across the country. You can participate wherever you are, whether that’s virtually or in different regions all across the Avera system,” Avera Foundation community giving manager Elijah Bonde said.

All of the money raised from the race stays local. It supports programs such as Avera’s wig salon and a 24 call center for cancer patients.

The care Emily received as a patient inspired her to join the medical field.

Now the Avera nurse and her husband are pitching in to help other patients.

“I feel like it really builds a sense of community for people who have cancer and the caregivers and everybody,” Emily Sass said.

The race is next Saturday, May 13th.

For everything you need to know about registration, the route, and more, click here.