This year’s Genoa Homecoming 5K run is teaming up with a Columbus-area cancer research fundraising group run by a Martin native who is a cancer survivor.
The proceeds from the June 1 run will go to Columbus group ROC On! (Run Over Cancer) created in 2008 by Laurie Dangler, M.D., said Genoa Village Administrator Kevin Gladden.
The Genoa Homecoming will be held May 31 and June 1 along Main Street in the village.
ROC On! increases the public’s awareness of the effects of brain cancer and helps raise money for brain cancer research. The organization has raised $15,000 annually for the cause and participates in many races across the United States.
Dangler, a Westerville resident and family practice doctor, is helping coordinate the local 5K event along with the Toledo Roadrunners. The Toledo group has managed the Genoa run for years, Gladden said.
Twenty members of the ROC On! charity ran in last year’s homecoming run and that is when the idea bloomed for more participation in 2013.
Dangler learned she has brain cancer in 2007 when she was training for a Columbus Half Marathon. It was the summer of her 37th birthday and the celebration of 15 years of marriage.
Her doctors stressed immediate surgery, not even allowing her to hold off for her daughter’s upcoming birthday and slumber party.
Dangler endured two major surgeries, one lasting 12-1/2 hours and the other 7-1/2 hours, to remove nearly all the tumor. Then she began a six-week regime of chemotherapy and radiation and set off on the slow recovery process.
She was dealt a double blow later when her mother, Paulette Rudes, 61, of Martin, died of lung cancer in December 2009 and Dangler herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2011.
“I’m doing pretty well right now,” Dangler said, noting the battle changes day to day.
Dangler’s oncologist at Ohio State University Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital, Herbert Newton, is the chairman for the Esther Dardinger-Oncology Center at the James Hospital. Dardinger was his patient and died of brain cancer.
ROC On! raises donations for the center. The James Cancer Hospital is ranked No. 1 in Ohio for cancer care and is No. 15 in the nation for cancer care.
“They deserve additional funding for research,” Dangler wrote in her organizational blog. “I’ve been lucky to have had many friends and family members support me throughout this time, and now I’d like to give back to the James.”
Dangler said that with her and her husband’s connection to the Genoa community she hopes to drum up lots of support.
“We go back there a lot to visit … and with our two families, it seems like we’re related to all of Ottawa County,” she laughed.
The Homecoming event also includes a half-mile race for children under age 6 that starts at 8:30 a.m. that day.
The cost for the 5K race is $16 for pre-registration or $20 on the day of the event.
Dangler hopes to have a new t-shirt designed with a Genoa logo but isn’t sure it will be possible in time.
Registration mailers are now being sent to runners who have participated in the past.