Coloradoans of all ages will come together on Sunday, August 5th to Step Up for Cancer from 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.The fourth annual event will take place at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. With an estimated 20,000 people in Colorado being diagnosed with cancer each year, this event was developed to initiate awareness, fundraising and education in an active stair-climbing event to ultimately, bridge a cure for cancer. This event asks everyone: “How will you Step Up in the fight against cancer?”
Genny Johnson knows all too well what it’s like to battle cancer. Genny had a rare chronic Leukemia, Myleofibrosis, and the only cure was a bone marrow transplant. After searching the nation, she realized she was going to have to expand her search and finally found a match early this year from an unknown donor from Europe: a 28-year-old man who generously stepped up to donate his bone marrow/stem cells. Now Genny‘s desire to help others with the same condition is two-fold: offer hope to those who may be considering a stem cell transplant, and raise awareness for the need to increase bone marrow/stem cell donor registries.
Genny is planning to participate with her nonprofit Genny’s Hope Foundation in Step Up for Cancer this year. Genny’s Hope Foundation and its sister non-profit Love Hope Strength Foundation have set a goal to get every eligible Step Up participant on the national bone marrow registry in hopes that more lives can be saved through Colorado’s commitment to see an end to cancer.
Genny’s Hope is one of 45 non-profit organizations that will be situated around the stadium concourse creating “Community Villages” during Step Up for Cancer that will provide a vast amount of information regarding the many facets of cancer including healthy living, prevention, early detection, treatment access to care, patient and caregiver support, research, advocacy and survivorship.
Participants of Step Up for Cancer earn donations for one of the non-profit organizations by walking up and down a portion or all of the 33 rows of stairs at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. All ages are invited to walk, climb, or run the course circling the interior of the stadium. There will also be an Elite timed heat for competitive racers and a “stairless” course for participants who would rather not take stairs. Spectators will have an unprecedented experience with a 360-degree view of all of the participants, while some of Denver’s best musicians entertain the crowd andathletes alike. There will be a yoga area, massage tent and kids will be entertained in the Kids Zone.
“It is our goal with this single event to unite the Colorado cancer community, because together we can make a greater difference in the fight against cancer than any one organization can do alone,” said Amy Venturi, Event Director, Step Up for Cancer. “All it takes is one time participating in Step Up for Cancer to become hooked! Many of our 200 volunteers started with us four years ago and the passion to make a real, meaningful impact in the community is very inspiring.”
Cost for participation is $30, which includes a race day bib, Step Up for Cancer T-shirt and goodie bag. Individuals or teams can also raise additional funds by asking for donations from friends and family, knowing that the money will go directly to their cancer charity of choice. Step Up for Cancer organizers estimate over 2,000 participants of all ages, stages and walks of life will unite to support the many participating cancer organizations and learn more about the cancer resources available.
Presenting partners include Anadarko and HealthONE, and sponsors are KCNC/News4, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Vitamin Water, Kroenke Sports Charities, Frederic Printing, The Denver Post and 103.5 The Fox. To learn more about Step Up for Cancer or to register online for the event¸ please visit www.stepupforcancer.org.