WILKES-BARRE – Run 10 miles. Put on a costume to be part of a team. Feel good about yourself – and help raise awareness about breast cancer.
That's what the Center for Cancer Wellness at Candy's Place hopes to accomplish this Sunday.
Candy's Place will hold its first "Do the Ten" relay run at Kirby Park, center coordinator Nicole Farber said.
Farber said the idea for the fundraiser began with one of the center's personal trainers running a program for patients after they completed surgery or therapy.
"It helps them get their strength back," Farber said, noting planning for the event began in January. "If (cancer patients) are able to train and run 10 miles or even a mile, why can't the rest of us in the community?"
Here's how the race will work:
The relay is 10 miles, and there will be a one mile marker where runners will stop to pass a baton to their teammates.
Individual runners will get a colored sticker placed on their baton at the end of each mile.
At the end of the race, each team should have a baton with 10 different colors representing different types of cancer, what Candy's Place calls a "Rainbow of Hope."
But, Farber said, some participants may choose to run the entire relay by themselves, or some may run two miles and then pass along the rest of the miles to other teammates.
"It doesn't matter – as long as the 10 miles are completed. Any way the teams can get it done shows support," Farber said. "Some people have knee problems or other things that may prevent them from doing a whole mile."
Proceeds from the relay go to support services at Candy's Place.
Farber said the number of patients the center helps has doubled since last year, and it is a constant challenge to keep programs going.
"Every year we help hundreds of patients and their families," Farber said. "Services are free for patients and their caregiver as well."
Participants at Sunday's event are encouraged to wear costumes or other team apparel.
"We want to have fun. With the difficulties cancer patients face every day, it's nice to be ‘someone else' for a little while," Farber said. "Candy's Place always tries to go above and beyond (for the care of cancer patients) and we like to do the same for our events."
Farber said several teams have already assembled with a costume theme: Superheroes, Candy Land characters, Care Bears, Pink Ladies, the Witches Crew, Misfits and 10 Shades of Grey (a play on the popular book, 50 Shades of Grey, to represent the 10 miles of the relay).
For those who want to support Candy's Place but can't participate in the relay, Farber said, there will be music, food and vendors for attendees, as well as cancer T-shirt sales.
"One smile can change a person's whole life," Farber said. "If we can do that for just one person on Sunday, it was all worth it."
What: 'Do the Ten' Candy's Place relay run
Where: Kirby Park, Wilkes-Barre
When: Sunday. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. – relay begins at 9 a.m.
More information: Prizes will be awarded for the team with the best theme, team that raised the most money, best costume and others throughout the day.
A team of 10 can register for $250; individual registration is $25.
All those who pre-register before Sunday's event will receive a free T-shirt. Day-of registrations are not guaranteed a T-shirt.