This run combats cancer, with love

When Peggy Sherry established Faces of Courage Inc., the idea was to help cancer patients.

Faces of Courage, an organization that has been helping cancer patients for 15 years, is hosting Run for Love on Feb. 1. The Land O’ Lakes event will help the organization raise money to support its services. (Courtesy of Tiffany Dodge, secretary at Faces of Courage Inc.)

As a cancer survivor herself, she could empathize.

So, she formed a non-profit organization.

That was in 2004.

The organization, based in Tampa, is geared toward helping cancer patients, and those suffering from blood disorders, as well.

The upcoming Run For Love event, set for Feb. 1, gives the public an opportunity to provide support, too. The 5K run and a 1-mile walk will be held in the Connerton community of  Land O’ Lakes.

Faces of Courage provides patients with overnight campouts within the Tampa Bay region.

But patients come from far beyond the Tampa Bay region to experience the camps. They come from across the nation, and across the globe.

Siblings of cancer patients are also welcome to join in.

The camps are intended to give those who are going through an illness an opportunity to focus their attention elsewhere, and enjoy a stress-free environment.

Besides providing an array of activities, the camps also allow campers to share their stories.

There are camps for kids,  and for kids on the autism spectrum, too.

The organization is currently serving 10,500 families affected by cancer — and that’s possible to accomplish because of its army of more than 1,600 volunteers.

Providing the campouts is possible through the help of sponsors, individual donors, grants, fundraisers and other contributions.

Run for Love, with its Valentine’s Day theme, is one such fundraiser. It is scheduled for held Feb. 1 at the Connerton Community Center, at 21100 Fountain Garden Road in Land O’ Lakes.

The 5K run will cost $30 a person and the 1-mile walk will cost $25 a person, when registering online.

When registering the day of, the 5K run will be $35 a person and the 1-mile will be $30 a person.

Check-in begins at 7 a.m., with the run and walk both starting at 8 a.m.

In addition to the run and walk, there will be live entertainment, bounce houses, rock painting and other fun activities. Admission is free.

Event-goers also will have a chance to pose for a photo with the Tampa Bay Rays’ mascot.

For more information or to register, call (813) 948-7478 or visit www.FacesOfCourage.org/RunForLove.

Published January 22, 2020

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