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Roanne’s Race: Honoring A Warrior
Roanne Cairel exuded life. As a teenager, she loved having fun with her friends, dancing for her high school’s color guard and spending time with her family. In addition to her fun personality, Roanne’s smile had the ability to turn someone’s day around. Therefore, it came as a huge surprise when at age 19, this exuberant and passionate young woman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer.
In spite of her unique circumstances, Roanne was not about to give up. With incredible strength for someone so young, she fought her disease for five years. During this time, Roanne continued to dance, never letting her passion dwindle. Undergoing chemo, a complete hysterectomy and treatment for a stage IV tumor, she refused to stop fighting for the life she lived so fully. Despite Roanne’s immense determination, huge heart and bright spirit, the disease took her life at the age of 24.
To honor Roanne’s relentless fight against colon cancer, her family and close friends decided to host a 5K/10K race. The inaugural Roanne’s Race, held on November 3, 2012 had nearly 300 people come and run through the scenic Livermore Park. The event raised $8,500 to support the Colon Cancer Alliance’s (CCA) Research Program. Specifically, this donation made in Roanne’s honor, will help educate health care providers to better diagnose colon cancer in individuals under 50 years of age.
The race was a great success and truly commemorated the life of an incredibly strong, determined and inspiring individual. Roanne’s contagious smile, strong spirit and inspiring fight will continue to live on. Special thanks to Lauren Barnard for her hard work on the event and for working with the CCA to raise critical funds and awareness. If you have a meaningful fundraising idea like Roanne’s Race, or for more information on how to hold a fundraiser to benefit the CCA, contact Alison Ornitz at 202-628-1023 ex. 109.