By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Kimberly Coleman Gee fought hard for over three years to beat her diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and though she lost that battle, her sprit lives on through the foundation her family and friends created in her honor.
The Kimberly C. Gee Ovarian Cancer Foundation will hold their fifth annual “Run for Awareness” Saturday at the Sanderson Center on the Mississippi State campus. The run celebrates Gee’s life and works to raise awareness about ovarian cancer in hopes of saving others. According to the American Cancer Society, over 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and over 14,000 of those women do not survive the disease.
“With this annual event alone, we have grossed almost $30,000 in aid to research, education, prevention, and other awareness events. The Starkville community and those individuals it has reached are responsible for those funds raised,” Holly Wiley, who helps organize the event, said. “This is not a melancholy event. This foundation mad a conscious decision to optimistically use our abilities to promote awareness of the seriousness of ovarian cancer and celebrate the lives of those who have fought intense, arduous battles.”
The event starts at 9 a.m. with a 5K run/walk for adults. A one mile run for children under the age of 14 will take place immediately after.
“We have tried to involve children in this even as much as possible since Kim, herself, was so dedicated to youngsters and we’ve made an effort to involve Kim’s own children,” Wiley said.
Gee’s own family plays a large part in making the event possible.
“Kim’s family takes an active role in this event and I believe it helps with their healing process,” Wiley said. “The act of ‘doing’ somehow makes a loss more bearable, and if they can do something, anything, with Kim’s name attached to it, it makes it even more worthwhile.”
Registration costs $20 for adults and $15 for children. Those who pre-registered are guaranteed a t-shirt. For more information on the run and the foundation, visit www.kimcgee.org .