5K dog walk/fun run to support cancer awareness, veterinary outreach program
This year's 5K Dog Walk and Fun Run for the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness organization is dedicated to the late Darlene Arden, celebrated pet author, OCSA advisory board member, and enthusiastic supporter of the nonprofit's awareness campaign.
A grant in Arden's name will be presented to the nonprofit during the opening ceremonies held Sunday, Sept. 9, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles.
The Walk and Run will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Sept. 9, at shelter No. 2, 37W700 Dean St. Registration is at 8:30 a.m., with opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. The 5K will begin at 10 a.m., followed by lunch at 11 a.m.
Arden, who lost her own battle with the disease earlier this year, championed OCSA's mission of raising awareness through a "One Health" approach and promoting early detection to save lives.
Scott Mackay, host of "Mackay in the Mornings" on 95.9 The River, will emcee the event led by board members and co-chairs Kris Junkas, DVM, Wright Animal Hospital and Alexis Newman, DVM, Partners and Paws Veterinary Services.
Susan Roman, OCSA's late co-founder, believed her dog alerted her to the cancer which eventually took her life and the idea to tie pets to the organization's mission has evolved into an awareness campaign.
Through a "One Health" approach tapping expertise from members of the medical community including the American Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the One Health Commission, OCSA's Veterinary Outreach Program delivers symptom checklists and collateral provided by OCSA to participating clinics.
This awareness campaign helps reach a new audience by catching the attention of pet owners in locations where they are already thinking of the health of a family member.
Funds raised at the OCSA 5K Dog Walk and Fun Run will support expansion of the Veterinary Outreach Program and numbers of individuals reached with educational materials about the silent symptoms of the disease.
Funds also support an internship at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center's program training dogs to "sniff out" cancer odorants in plasma affected by the disease with the ultimate goal of assisting scientists in creating a new diagnostic test for early detection.
Opening ceremonies will begin with a color guard led by members of the St. Charles American Legion Post 342. The national anthem will be sung by St. Charles resident Jennifer Mamminga.
Event participants also include police dog officer Erin, the first and only police bloodhound in Kane County, and handler Deputy Nick Wolf from the Kane County Sheriff's Office, plus other police dog officers and handlers, and volunteers from Fox Valley Food for Health, Foxtrot Organic Farm and A Sound Beginning Program. Midwest Greyhound Adoption along with adoptable retired greyhounds and Homes for Endangered and Lost Pets will have adoptable kittens and puppies available.
Each year, more than 20,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and approximately 14,000 women die from the disease. When ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages, the survival rate is over 90 percent.
OCSA's mission is to expand public awareness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer in an effort to contribute to the early detection of this deadly disease, and by doing so, save lives.
Cost is $35; $30 for seniors; $25 for students; $20 for children; Scouts $10; and $10 for dogs. T-shirt, lunch and teal bandannas for participating dogs are included. For tickets, visit www.ovariancancersymptomawareness.org/events/.
The Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness Organization is a 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in 2010 to educate women and their families about the silent symptoms of ovarian cancer and the need for early detection and treatment.
Donations to OCSA are tax deductible as a charitable gift. For questions concerning tax deductibility, please consult a tax adviser.