Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center’s Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support is hosting the annual In Their Shoes 10K. The event benefits cancer patients and survivors in the region.

This year’s event is virtual, giving participants the chance to register and run/walk from May 22-29.

According to Joel Siebentritt, manager of support services at the Loran Smith Center, the decision to make this year’s event a virtual 10K is based on guidelines and recommendations from Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), to avoid COVID exposure for attendees.

“This is especially important for cancer survivors and others who may have weakened immune systems due to illness or treatment,” he said.

With the 10K hosted virtually, those registered can run or walk the 6.2 miles anytime and anywhere from Saturday, May 22, through Saturday, May 29, and can submit their results online. The Loran Smith Center is also hosting a drive-thru celebration for National Cancer Survivor’s Day on June 6 from 1-4 p.m., where In Their Shoes participants can pick up their 10K T-shirt, awards and an ice cream treat.

Awards will be presented to the top-10K finishers and fundraisers, the event is $20 for cancer survivors and $30 for others. Participants can register through May 29.

“The In Their Shoes 10K is so important for the people in our community, as it not only honors community members, friends and family members diagnosed with cancer, but it also helps raise funds for the free services at the Loran Smith Center,” said Siebentritt.

The Loran Smith Center at Piedmont Athens Regional offers cancer patients and their families professionally-led support programs to assist them through their journey with cancer. The center’s services include support groups, educational workshops, individual and group counseling, exercise classes, complementary therapies like massages or reiki. It also provides emotional and spiritual support to cancer patients, their families and caregivers before, during and after treatment.

More than $1.6 million has been raised since the event started in 2006, and all proceeds and donations stay local and allow the center to provide programs and support services at no charge to cancer patients, their families, and caregivers (regardless of where they are treated or how long ago they were diagnosed).

For more information about the services offered at the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support or to register for the In Their Shoes 10K, visit InTheirShoesAthens.org.

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