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Medwatch: Spirit of Survival update

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 8:36 AM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The Spirit of Survival is going completely virtual this year due to the coronavirus. The decision to make it virtual wasn’t an easy one. Alison Green, the co-race director of Spirit of Survival and cancer program director of the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma, said they originally planned to have two events, the Spirit Walk and Kids Marathon, in person but had to make those virtual as well.

“There’s been a huge uprising in COVID cases,” Green said. “And the Spirit Walk is essentially all our patients and their family members who are immunocompromised, and we put them in the same setting as 1,000 kids who are 12 and under and are not vaccinated, and it’s a recipe for disaster. We didn’t want to expose our patients to that.”

While the big event, where everybody gets together to support those with cancer and raise money for the cancer centers isn’t happening in person, Green encourages people to still register for the 5K, quarter marathon, half marathon, and biking events.

“Every registration helps the patients of Southwest Oklahoma in so many different ways,” she said. “It’s vital to the patients. It goes towards transportation, medication assistance, research, any type of patient assistance, or charity assistance. It’s a constant need here.”

Especially after the race had to be completely canceled last year.

“We were very worried about how our lack of fundraising was going to affect our patients,” she said. “But we had so many really great groups step up last year and help us fill in that gap. I do want to say I appreciate everyone from last year who helped us.”

And one of those events, Bikers and Bras is happening again this year on October 16th. Now, if you don’t want to walk, run, or bike in the SOS, but you still want to help, you can go to the Spirit of Survival’s website and donate directly to the cause.

Those who do participate will be in charge of keeping their own time. After completing the event that they registered for, they’ll then log it on the website. Those who participate will get a shirt and medal as usual, but it’ll be mailed.

As for next year’s event, it’s still unknown how it will go, which can cause some worry.

“We’re always worried, but we just have to keep plugging away,” Green said. “We can only do what we’re capable of doing right now, and we have to do what’s in the best interest of the community, our patients, and our staff to keep everybody as healthy as we possibly can. So, we’re really hoping 2022 is going to be all live, completely normal, wonderful SOS event, but we’ll see.”

Because they went virtual, the Spirit of Survival was extended until October first. If you’ve registered for the virtual event, you can pick up your packet at the Cancer Center of Southwest Oklahoma in Lawton. It’s happening every Friday through October 1st from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

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