Through our work with Austen's Army Foundation, we have been gifted with the chance to meet some really inspiring people who are doing amazing things to support cancer patients and their families.
In early March, Red Hare Brewing Company held a 5k and Austen's Army was the beneficiary. We received a portion of the registration fee and runners could choose to make an additional donation when registering. We were beyond thrilled to learn that this race brought in more money than any other 5k in Red Hare's history!
It was a great event. Several of our friends and even some of Austen's medical team (shoutout to Dr. Krista Childress) participated.
After the race, a gentleman decked out in a bright blue tutu and cape came up to our information table to give a donation. We chatted for a bit and his story is too cool not to share and celebrate:
Justin Gershenson-Gates flew down all the way from Chicago to run this race specifically due to the fact that it was benefiting rhabdomyosarcoma. Why? Because Justin's wife underwent treatment for Stage 4 colon cancer and due to the outpouring of support his family received upon her diagnosis and treatment, Justin made it his mission to raise awareness and funds for each type of cancer that affects someone close to their family by running a 5k that benefits that cancer.
This includes cancers of the breast, brain and thyroid; leukemia; lymphoma; Ewing's sarcoma; and, of course, rhabdomyosarcoma. Justin said this 5k was the only one he could find that had a tie to rhabdo so he made the trip from Illinois to Georgia just to run it. He will be doing 5 or 6 races in the coming months and hopes to grow his project in the coming years.
We loved Justin's mission and were touched by his story. Within the cancer world, the rhabdo community is relatively small and we love the opportunity to hear what others are doing to support it.
We wish Justin and his family all the best and will continue to follow his progress. In fact, we hope he will join us again next year if we are able to partner with Red Hare for another 5k!
p.s. - Justin creates some really cool sculptures and jewelry. Check out his work at www.amechanicalmind.com