SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The race is on to this weekend.
That’s when runners and walkers will take off in the Avera Race Against Cancer.
Janice O’Connor will walk three miles on Saturday.
“When the weather’s nice it’s so refreshing,” Janice O’Connor said.
But she’s already put in plenty of work, helping get packets ready so they can be picked up ahead of the event.
Not only is O’Connor a volunteer for the race and a participant, but she knows what it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer.
“I was fairly young; I was 45 years old and we didn’t have a family history of it so I was pretty surprised when I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” O’Connor said.
The Sioux Falls woman was also once diagnosed with parotid cancer, which is cancer in a salivary gland.
Now, she’s cancer free.
The upcoming race will help support people who are now facing similar situations.
“When you’re first diagnosed with cancer you’re like, ‘Ok, who can I talk to? Where do I go? What do I do?’ I remember making that call and I get that call back to me now,” O’Connor said.
All of the proceeds will go to the Avera Cancer Institute to support a variety of programs such as cancer support groups, genetic testing, and the Avera Wig Salon.
“You just think about how many people are impacted by cancer in our community and across the world and it’s so great to see the community come together and participate in something like this,” Elijah Bonde with the Avera McKennan Foundation said.
Something O’Connor can speak to, firsthand.
“That support is just so important and it just trickles down. We all help each other,” O’Connor said.
There are two runs and two walks on Saturday with the first event taking off at 8 a.m. from the Avera McKennan Fitness Center.
There will be some activities leading up to the start of the race.
From parking information to signing up for the race, you can find everything you need to know here.