It is not too late to sign up to do something good for yourself and your community. FishHawk residents Bernadette Boyle and Linda O’Brien have been working tirelessly to organize and plan an event the community will be proud of: the Your Next Step is the Cure 5K on Saturday, October 2, starting at Park Square in FishHawk.
Ocular melanoma (OM) is an extremely rare form of cancer that affects the eye with an incidence of five per one million adults. Although rare, it is the most common primary cancer of the eye in adults. “Primary” means that the cancer began at that site, in this case the eye, and did not spread there from another part of the body.
Bernadette and O’Brien both have personal reasons for their passion for this event because both women have a strong connection to OM. Bernadette’s husband, Joe Boyle, was diagnosed with OM in January 2008 and in the summer of 2011. O’Brien’s diagnosis of ocular melanoma also occurred in January 2008; O’Brien continues to have routine scans and eye exams, but thankfully her cancer is still NED (No Evidence of Disease).
In November 2017, the women held their first 5K at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. This year, the 5K will take place at Park Square Plaza on October 2 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
According to Bernadette, the event will feature Allison Kropff, Tampa 10 CBS news anchor, as the emcee. There will be 12 age groups, with awards being given out to all winners of first, second and third place in both the men and women’s groups and finisher medals for everyone.
In addition, there will be a chip-timed race and everyone who registers will receive a Coolibar shirt and a swag bag with lots of goodies. The 5K will leave from Park Square, with water stations along the route. There will also be vendors, raffle items and guest speakers.
Packet pickup will take place on Thursday, September 30 outside of Art Monkey Emporium from 2-7 p.m. and check-in will start on race day, October 2, by 7 a.m.
“Please note that there will be road closures the morning of the race starting around 7:30 a.m. and ending at 9:15 a.m.; please plan accordingly that morning,” said Bernadette. “There will also be signs to alert all residents of these closures. We apologize for any inconvenience it may create; we will do our best to make this as seamless as possible.”
If you would like to participate in this year’s 5K, you can register for the race at www.runsignup.com/race/fl/lithia/yournextstepisthecure or contact Bernadette at firstname.lastname@example.org.