North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Cross Country for a Cure raises funds to fight cancer

 

Christopher Andersson

Participants in the Cross Country for a Cure Relay for Life fundraiser on March 25 take off at the starting line behind the Stillaguamish Athletic Club.

For the sixth year one local Relay for Life team has raised money for cancer research with their "Cross Country for a Cure" run.

This year's 5K walk or run was on March 25 and took place at the Arlington Airport Field.

Money raised goes to the Marysville-Tulalip Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society event which supports cancer research and cancer patient services.

"My son started it as a senior project at Arlington High School and he went off to college at WSU [Washington State University] and we just took it from there and have continued to raise money since then," said local Linda Clark, organizer of the event.

Clark's team has participated in the local Marysville relay for 10 years now.

"I lost my dad and my brother in 2006, and I heard an ad on the radio soon after they passed away," she said.

"I was pretty angry about the whole thing and decided I needed to do something and I thought 'this is it.' That's how it all started for me and then once you get in there and the people's hearts, and the stories of the survivors and the people they've lost," said Clark. "I just love the coming together and doing something to make the difference."

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life happens across the country and raises funds for research and services, like volunteer drivers, which help patients.

"I just love what they do for families," said Clark.

Clark's son was in cross country at Arlington High School and decided a fund-raising run would be good for a senior project.

Clark said her son didn't know her uncle or father that well, "but seeing what losing them did to me motivated him," she said.

That first year raised $3,000 and since then regulars have come back every year, including some of Clark's son's cross country teammates.

The event also helps bring people together.

"For me it's about bringing people together and the stories they have to share," said Clark, who said she liked seeing people share stories and supporting each other.

"Most everyone that's here has been affected by cancer in one way or another," she said. "We all have the same desire and that is to find a cure for cancer."

Clark also said she enjoyed getting outdoors. "I love to be outside. If I could do everything outside that would be fantastic," she said.

She said that the numbers for their run have gone down in recent years, although they always "push hard" for people.

"The truth is, if we raise $100 or, his first year he raised $3,000, every penny counts," she said.

Clark's Kickin' It For Cancer team will also be raising money at the Marysville Applebee's on April 8, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., where they will be serving breakfast to visitors and having a bake sale and auction.

 

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