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My Cancer Hero 5K to return March 10

Whether you’re an avid runner, a dedicated walker or just want to enjoy a spring stroll with good friends, there’s a place for you in the “My Cancer Hero” 5K Walk/Run set for Saturday, March 10. The event kicks off at 8 a.m. at Fort Dale Academy with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

It’s an event very close to the heart of the young businesswoman who originated it, Abbie Ballew.

“This event is so very special to me. I started it my first year as a State Farm Agent,” Ballew explains.

“My daddy was the inspiration for the My Cancer Hero 5K. He was, is, and I guess, always will be, my personal hero. He just fought so bravely through his entire cancer journey and he inspired me.”

And as Ballew thought about her father, the cancer hero, she found many more faces coming to mind.

“My mom is a cancer survivor. I love to be able to say that. She is a survivor! I was too young to remember everything about just how amazing and strong she was during her battle. But she is here with us now, and for that I am truly blessed,” Ballew says.

Her maternal grandfather, Kenneth Cumbie, died from cancer when Ballew was very young. Still, “his pictures and memories last.”

Her daddy’s daddy, Carroll Gardner, was Ballew’s very first hero, one who also ultimately lost his cancer battle.

“My life has been touched in so many ways by this awful disease. And yet, we can find so much hope and joy in each other—in our community—and in our cancer heroes,” Ballew stresses.

Those who sign up to participate in the race (the cost is $25 and includes a T-shirt and goody bag) will also get to submit their personal cancer hero’s name to be added to the back of each runner’s T-shirt.

“It is so touching each year to see the names of those who people are running for. That is why this year I decided to not get corporate sponsors, even though I truly love and cherish the support of our local business owners,” Ballew explains.“This year, however, I wanted to cover the backs of the race shirts with the names of our cancer heroes. I felt it would make it extra-meaningful for everyone involved.”

All who register for the race will get a shirt. “If you don’t want to race, but you’ve made the minimum $25 donation to get your cancer hero’s name on the back, you can still purchase a shirt for just $10,” Ballew says.

Pre-registration ends on February 20. Pickup/late registration is set for 7:30 a.m. on race morning with a late registration fee of $30. You can register at Active.com or pick up a registration form at Ballew’s State Farm Agency office on Fort Dale Road. Age divisions start at age 10, and there will be prizes awarded for each age division participating. Following the award presentation, a colorful balloon release will be held, says Ballew.

“I would just encourage everyone to come out and support the American Cancer Society at the My Cancer Hero 5K. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. They are making a difference in the lives of those with cancer. And they are doing it everyday.”

For more information, contact Abbie Ballew at abbie@agentabbie.com or by calling 334-382-6561.