The Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance is honoring cancer patients and survivors by hosting its 13th annual walk/fun run event and launching new programs during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
On behalf of cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones, ESBCA is inviting the entire community to join in the organization’s largest fundraiser, a 5K walk and 10K fun run, Treasurer Andrea Shallcross said.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, participants will take off at 9 a.m. from the Bishop City Park gazebo on North Main Street, head for the back of the park, go behind Vons to Wye Road, along the canal and back again. Runners branch off for a full 10K course.
Amenities will include donations of fruit, yogurt and snacks from Vons and coffee from Starbucks. Residents can buy raffle tickets at the event. Top prizes are lift and cross country ski day tickets, courtesy Mammoth Mountain. Prizes also include a variety of gift baskets.
As in past years, interested vendors are invited to set up informational booths at the event, at no charge.
In the past, about 300 people have participated in the walk/fun run, Shallcross said. “This year we’re hoping for at least 330.”
Through Wednesday, Oct. 16, preregistration forms with $30-per-person entry fees can be mailed to ESBCA, P.O. Box 1523, Bishop CA 93515 or dropped off at the NIH front desk. ESBCA will also hold a pre-registration event on Oct. 16 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the NIH administration building breezeway off of the Pioneer Lane parking lot. Residents can also register from 8-9 a.m. at the park gazebo on Oct. 19 at a cost of $35 per person.
All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt on Oct. 16 or on race day, once their paid registration is verified. Shallcross thanked NIH for its sizable donation toward the expense of the shirts.
Registration forms can be downloaded at www.ESBCA.org  or picked up at Northern Inyo Hospital or the ESBCA Resource Renter, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Thursday, at NIH’s annex, 2597 Birch St. The resource center door is located on Grandview Drive at Birch Street.
ESBCA offers various forms of assistance to cancer patients through its resource center. Persons with a written cancer diagnosis from their doctor can apply for financial reimbursement for illness-related expenses, such as medications, co-pays, travel (gas and lodging) and even rent and utilities.
At monthly board meetings, “we decide how much money we have to disperse” and reimbursement amounts depend on the number of applicants and each one’s need. “We don’t have a lot” of funds so there is an annual cap of $2,000 per applicant, Shallcross explained.
ESBCA can also help people register with the American Cancer Society, which provides helpful resources. ESBCA also offers items such as literature, pillows, wigs, head scarves and colostomy bag covers while supplies last. In greater supply is ESBCA’s primary gift, emotional support, Shallcross said. However, the resource center is in need of more volunteers.
“How much assistance we can give depends on how well we do” with the walk/fun run this year. People are advised to always call the Resource Center at (760) 872-3811 before stopping by.
The alliance has three new program goals this year, Shallcross said.
A support group, to meet twice a month, is in the works.
A cancer mentor program will match patients with survivors.
A Live Well lecture series also kicked off this past June and the next one will be held from noon-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Whiskey Creek when NIH Chief of Staff Dr. Taema Weiss will present a Breast Cancer Screening Options talk. Meals will be available at $17 per person for those who want to lunch during the lecture.
“Everybody is touched by cancer in some way. The walk/fun run will be a positive, cheerful, uplifting celebration because everyone is coming together to honor friends and family who’ve suffered from cancer,” Shallcross said.
For more information about ESBCA’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month calendar or its regular services, contact Shallcross at (760) 873-7360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.