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OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center Taking Registrations for Annual Outpace Cancer Race

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OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center Taking Registrations for Annual Outpace Cancer Race

Oklahoma has a higher than national average incidence for lung and bronchus, colorectal, cervix, kidney and renal pelvis, and oral cavity and pharynx cancers, with an overall cancer mortality rate of 14%. There are 20,540 new cancer cases in Oklahoma each year and 8,420 annual cancer deaths.

On Saturday, April 1, 2023, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center is hosting the 5th annual Outpace Cancer Race. Outpace Cancer is a 10K/5K and 1-mile walk event, with a virtual walk-at-home option, to raise funds to support families and individuals fighting cancer. For those whose families are out of state and want to participate, or for patients who are no longer living in the area, there is the option to attend virtually.

Heather Ricchi is Stephenson Cancer Center’s Special Events Manager and the organizer of Outpace. However, it’s also much more personal for her. Ricchi was diagnosed with cancer in January 2021 and became a patient of Stephenson Cancer Center. She said, “Being able to organize Outpace while also attending the event as a patient of Stephenson Cancer Center fills me with gratitude. It is a reminder to me of not what was lost with my cancer diagnoses, but instead, what was gained — time, the ability to be a light in others who are experiencing the impacts of a cancer and being able to reflect on all of the good that has come from my journey.”

In order to honor and commemorate those who have been diagnosed with cancer, storyboards provide a visual reminder for everyone who participates in Outpace. Storyboards are printed on large boards and installed along the start and finish line so that all participants are able to see them and be inspired by them. Ricchi said, “Through our event, one thing we ask all participants is, “Why do you Outpace?” The responses we receive are incredibly powerful — they said they do it for those who have lost their battle with cancer; for all cancer survivors; for their mom; for research to continue to survive and to give others hope and strength.”

Outpace Cancer increases awareness of cancer and highlights the expertise and impact of Stephenson Cancer Center. In 2018 Stephenson Cancer Center achieved the goal of National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designation and is the only such center in Oklahoma.

Director of Stephenson Cancer Center, Robert S. Mannel, M.D., said “Cancer exacts a terrible toll. It will affect one out of three women and one out of two men sometime during their lives. It not only affects the cancer patient but their families and friends – it affects all of us. The Stephenson Cancer Center Outpace Cancer Race is an annual event that brings everyone affected by cancer – patients, survivors, families and medical caregivers – together to remember those we have lost, to support those undergoing therapy and to celebrate survivors.”

Outpace Cancer is a great opportunity for not only participants, but also for businesses and organizations to make an impact in the community. Every dollar that is donated to Outpace stays in Oklahoma and financially impacts cancer research and patient assistance. Sign up for 2023 Outpace Cancer at https://www.outpacecancer.com/

To participate virtually there is an option to register online when signing up for the event. By signing up for the virtual option participants can do the race in their own time, or they can update their time online via a live virtual leaderboard on the registration site.