Coping With Emotions

Run for Cancer: Participating in a Cancer Fundraiser Can Help You Feel Better, Too

Being a caregiver to a cancer patient can be overwhelming and emotionally draining, among other things. You can channel your stress into a good cause by taking part in a run for cancer.
Being a caregiver to a cancer patient can be overwhelming and emotionally draining, among other things. You can channel your stress into a good cause by taking part in a run for cancer.

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it’s obviously a stressful situation for the patient, and also for friends and family. As the loved one of a person with cancer, you may feel anxious and wish to do something to fix it. Though these are both natural responses, you probably don’t want to overwhelm the cancer patient with your frustrated energy. Curing, or even treating, a loved one’s cancer is out of your hands. There are ways you can put that energy to use, however, in other ways, for example planning to run for cancer. You can channel your feelings towards organizations that are working to eradicate cancer and improve the length and quality of life for those living with cancer.

Run for Cancer

There’s nothing like exercise to process stress and anxiety, and being able to invest your sweat equity into cancer research allows you manage the frustration productively. Participating in fundraising walks or runs makes you feel empowered because you’re doing something that’s making a difference. There are a variety of events that benefit different cancer charities. You can choose from bicycle tours, 5K walks, marathons, obstacle runs and many other events. You can participate in these events and have people donate to your cause months before or volunteer to assist the organization on the day.

To make things even better, the funds raised at these events are often the primary source of income for the cancer charity, and these events attract a significant amount of media attention, bringing awareness to the need for the funds and the manner in which the money is used to combat this disease.

Where Does Your Money and Energy Go

These organizations use the money received to fund research as well as provide much needed services to people living with cancer. The services may involve screenings to detect cancer, lodging for people who need to travel long distances to get cancer treatment or acquiring medical devices and garments such as lymphedema sleeves (which many people need as a part of their treatment). By participating, you’re making a difference in the lives of all people affected by cancer.

These events aren’t only a great opportunity to do some good, but they also provide a distraction when you need it the most. Acting as a caregiver is hard work, so doing something productive that’s also fun lets you boost your well-being and decrease your stress levels as well. You may find it helps you process the emotions you keep wrapped up in your daily caregiver role. They’re also ideal events when money is tight or you’d like to do more than just write a check.

Relay for Life

One example of a cancer organization is the American Cancer Society, which has a 100-year history of funding research that has helped develop new detection and treatment technology, while helping more people have more birthdays. The American Cancer Society hosts the Relay for Life event in communities across the country, where participants take turns walking or running a course relay style, and the monetary gains are used for research, as well as providing cancer screenings and other benefits such as transportation to treatment.

These fundraising runs are often team events, which makes it more exciting, and connect cancer survivors and their loved ones with others who are also affected by cancer. This adds to the benefits of sweating out your frustrations and raising money to combat cancer, making a run for cancer a productive and healthy way to deal with a loved one’s diagnosis.

The University of Virginia Cancer Center is a research hospital that partners with the American Cancer Society, pioneering new ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. Find out more here.

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Judy Schwartz Haley
Judy Schwartz Haley