Duke Invites Community To Spring For Support

Annie, Darren and Jonas posing for a family photo, making sure to include the family cat!Annie, Darren and Jonas posing for a family photo, making sure to include the family cat!The Duke Cancer Patient Support Program (DCPSP) always goes that extra mile to ensure cancer patients and their loved ones have access to vital programs and services, at no cost. Each spring organizers reach out to invite the community to spring to support the Spring For Support 5K and Family Fun Day, that is.

The 4th Spring for Support 5K will be held on Saturday, April 7, at Duke’s East Campus in Durham.  

Annie Oberstar and her family are gearing up for their second Spring for Support 5K. Last year, Annie’s son, Jonas, was the top individual child fundraiser, raising $245 by himself. Annie, who began treatment at Duke for breast cancer in January 2016, participated in a few support programs during her treatment. Annie, her husband Darren, and Jonas also got involved with the Kids Can! Program, which supports children ages four to 18 who have a parent or significant caregiver living with cancer.

“When I was younger I lost my mother to breast cancer, so I understood how important it was to help our son find an extra layer of support,” shared Annie. “At the time of my diagnosis, Jonas was only 9, and the Kids Can! program was able to explain my diagnosis in a way that was age appropriate for him. Overall, the programs offered for free are beyond the patient and children. The caregiver support programs are very informative and supportive to the partners of cancer patients as well.”

Organizers hope to raise $40,000. Last year the event raised a record $35,515 to benefit the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program. Services include individual, couple and family therapy, support groups, self-image resources, pet therapy, child-life services, recreational therapy and more.

“I challenge everyone to sign-up and get on board for this event,” encouraged Annie. “These services are transformative and an integral part of a cancer journey. Our group became a big family, and together we handled the painful process of battling cancer.”

Spring For Support will feature timed and untimed 5K races, accompanied by family fun crafts and games throughout the day. Back by demand, the Foolishly Family Fun Obstacle Course will award prizes in various categories. Durham’s Bouncing Bulldogs Jump Rope Team will round out the afternoon with a variety of synchronized performances.

“The 5k is a fun and meaningful opportunity to support their hard work and dedication,” shared Annie. “Our family is so excited to support the programs that have been so incredibly healing for us. Cancer treatment can be a very scary process and the support programs are a critical source of comfort for so many. Being able to give back to those programs is an honor for our family. The support program is made up of an amazing group of people who dedicate their lives to supporting patients and their families.”

The 2017 Spring For Support 5K will take place April 7, at Duke’s East Campus in Durham. Sponsors include Clayton Homes, Holt Brother’s Foundation and Novartis, among others. Check-in starts at 7 a.m. The race begins at 8 a.m. For more information or to register, visit www.springforsupport5k.org.