Avera Race Against Cancer goes virtual for second year in a row

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 10:38 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Each year, cancer impacts families all across the country.

The Avera Race Against Cancer raises funds and provides support for those fighting their battle.

For the second straight year, the race is going virtual.

As an Avera employee, Andrea Sprik has been a long-time supporter of the Avera Race Against Cancer. But after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2010, it became much more personal.

“Shortly after that I was asked to join the race committee, and so my involvement has gotten more and more as the years have gone on,” Sprik said.

A survivor, Sprik knows first-hand what kind of impact this event has on those fighting cancer.

“My diagnosis and surgery date are very close to the race date every year, and so every year it’s just a celebration of how far I’ve come,” Sprik said. “It’s great to have family and friends come, it’s kind of our big celebration every year together.”

Tom Bosch, who is Avera’s Vice President of Hospitality, has a strong connection to the event as well. He lost his brother to pancreatic and liver cancer.

“Three years ago, on race day, he passed away from that cancer, and so I run to honor my brother Jeff,” Bosch said.

It is because of stories like Tom’s and Andrea’s that the Avera Race Against Cancer has been going strong for more than 30 years.

“Every day that we wake up in the morning someone’s going to be affected by cancer, they’re going to receive a new diagnosis, they’re undergoing treatment, or they’re going through survivorship post-treatment of their cancer, and our funds that are raised really go back into our community,” Avera Cancer Institute Assistant Vice President for Outpatient Cancer Clinics Kris Gaster said.

Because this year’s event is happening virtually, participants can get outside to run or walk, or they can participate from the comfort of their own home. And, though it’s different from years past, the event’s online format allows more people than ever to participate.

“We have registrations from Australia, all over the world, so you can register and support anyone that’s experiencing cancer, from anywhere,” Avera McKennan Fitness Center Director Jackie Haggar Tuschen said.

For more information about the Avera Race Against Cancer, as well as to register, click here.

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