Run/Walk season is officially upon us! Every year since 2008, ZERO has put together a series of fun, family-friendly run/walks in 40+ cities across the country in order to support local communities in the fight against prostate cancer. This Saturday, June 20th, our annual fundraising series kicks off in Washington, DC and Salt Lake City, Utah, and due to safety precautions regarding COVID-19, ZERO has decided to make the events 100% virtual.
“A lot of people are wondering: how can you do a run/walk online?” said Caitlin Murphy, ZERO’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter Director. “The good thing about our event is that it’s so much more than just a run/walk. It’s a celebration for the patients, for their families, and for those we’ve lost to this disease.”
The joint event is set to begin at 10AM EDT on Facebook Live as well as on our website (zerocancer.run/dc or zerocancer.run/slc). Throughout the morning, we will be airing pre-recorded interviews with some local ZERO Heroes, such as DC’s Glenn Consor and Salt Lake City’s Jessica Tolman, as well as a community highlight reel for each city. Members of ZERO will also be giving live updates on our $100,000 fundraising goal and naming top fundraisers via our annual Bold for Blue segment.
“We really tried to keep the elements of the run/walk that were everyone’s favorite – above all, that meant keeping a celebratory, community feel,” said Niamh Connolly, ZERO’s Director of Events. “Recognizing our survivors is super important, as well as our top fundraisers.” The events will also include an educational segment about COVID-19 and how prostate cancer patients can safely navigate the pandemic.
All funds from the virtual run/walks will go towards patients and families who are struggling during this public health crisis. COVID-19 poses a unique threat to the prostate cancer community: in addition to being an immunocompromised group, many deal with the financial reality of losing their jobs and their health insurance, making it even more difficult to make ends meet and pay for costly treatments. Even though the event cannot be held in-person this year, it is still just as important, if not more so, to find a way to join together in these trying times.
Over the years, the run/walks have evolved into something far more than just fundraisers: they’re full-fledged celebrations of local communities, their strength, and their vibrancy. This weekend’s virtual event will have plenty of moments that keep the fun going, including a kick-off concert on Friday 6:00 p.m. EDT from Jimmy Charles as well as Dr. Nilay Gandhi’s #PiesforProstates fundraiser.
“Everyone who has been on this planning team has done a very good job of emulating the feelings that we feel onsite together. I think that we’ll be able to give each other a virtual hug, and that’s what we all desperately need right now,” said Murphy. “It’s pretty amazing that two cities on opposite ends of the country can come together that normally would never have this opportunity.”
We are so excited to be able to bring one of ZERO’s most beloved traditions to the virtual space. Make sure you complete your free registration for the event at zerocancer.run. No need to lace up your sneakers this year – we’ll see you all online on Saturday!