Organized by Kelly Barton, an executive assistant for Timber Products, this is the third year since the 5K’s inception in 2018. It has been two years since Barton was given the all-clear from her own diagnosis with breast cancer.
“It feels great to be able to say that I’ve been cancer free for over two years now,” said Barton “I am so thankful that I was diagnosed early, had amazing doctors, and a wonderful family, friend, and work support system!”
The 5K came to fruition shortly after Barton was diagnosed in January of 2018. She wanted something good to come from her experience that would benefit many people, not just her. Thus, the 5K was born.
To further encourage people to join in and support the efforts, the 5K always had a new annual theme for participants to dress up. The year, Barton, along her family and friends who help bring the event together, chose an 80s theme.
“My friends and I grew up in the 80s,” Barton said. “We still love all the music!”
The biggest difference between this year’s run versus those in the past was the need to social distance because of the arrival of COVID-19. As a result, the 5K was a virtual event this time, allowing people to walk or run a 5K wherever they wanted at any time of the day.
“I really missed having a big group this year due to COVID,” said Barton. “But I love that people made the best of the situation and got out to walk or run their own 5K! I think in the future we will continue to offer the virtual 5K as an option to those who don’t want to participate with the group.”
A small group of friends and family did walk with Barton this year at Maury Jacobs park. Many photos and posts were shared on social media of the event from their small group as well as those who joined virtually.
This year’s 5K raised a total of $13, 278, all of which goes to the Oregon Cancer Foundation. OCF supports local cancer patients in many ways including support groups and classes as well as financially.
“OCF was wonderful to me during my treatment and now I am committed to helping them support other cancer patients,” Barton said. “They support people with all types of cancer, not just breast cancer. It was really important to me to raise money for an organization that is local.”
The 2020 My Brest Friends 5K sponsors included Timber Products, Armadillo Roofing, Jones & Roth and GCC Restoration.
Barton expressed appreciation for the sponsors and this year’s event in light of COVID-19. “I am thankful to all of our sponsors. I’m also very proud of what we accomplished overall this year considering we weren’t even sure if there would be a fundraiser.”
To learn how you can support the Oregon Cancer Foundation, visit their website at https://www.oregoncancerfoundation.org/.