Planning has begun for the second annual Get Your Rear in Gear 5K in Muscatine, Iowa. Bryan Fessler, along with his two children, Jared and Jenna, are planning the event in honor of their mother, who they lost to colon cancer.
The Muscatine Journal was a big support to the 2011 event and have kept up that support going into this year. Read the story by Cynthia Beaudette about the expectations for this year’s event.
Organizers shift into second Gear: Muscatine family returns for another round in the fight against cancer
Cynthia Beaudette | Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012 10:33 pm
MUSCATINE, Iowa — In 2009, Muscatine said goodbye to a well-known teacher, mother and friend when Ellen Fessler died from colon cancer at age 50.
Since then, her husband, Bryan Fessler, 52, and their adult children, Jared and Jenna, have honored Ellen’s memory by using information to help others combat and prevent colon cancer.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, area residents can help the Fesslers in their fight against the disease by joining the second annual Muscatine Get Your Rear In Gear 5K run/walk.
Donations are now being accepted for the local event, said Bryan Fessler, organizer of the event, and online registration will be available within the next 30 days.
Get Your Rear In Gear events are part of the non-profit Colon Cancer Coalition’s national campaign to raise funds for, and awareness of, colon cancer.
The event takes place at Discovery Park, 3300 Cedar St.
Proceeds are used to help local residents who need help paying for colon cancer testing because the disease is most treatable when caught early.
“Trinity Muscatine is keeping me updated on how many people have used the funds,” said Fessler. “One person, a cancer survivor, was tested using funds from our event, and the test came back negative, which is the best possible outcome.”
Four more people are in the process of accessing the funds through Trinity, said Fessler.
“It makes me feel good that we’re providing necessary funding,” said Fessler. “If there is anyone who needs testing, they can get in touch with Trinity to get more information.”
Fessler said this year’s event is off to a good start. He’s already recruiting sponsors and the Muscatine Running Club is managing the run part.
“We haven’t had any of last year’s sponsors say they wouldn’t do it this year,” said Fessler. “And several have increased from what they gave in 2011, so we’re very grateful.”
Last year’s turnout exceeded his expectations, said Fessler, with almost 300 participants and proceeds amounting to $14,800.
“It was unbelievable,” said Fessler. “I was blown away.”
But he was more amazed by something else the day of that first race.
“We had kind of an overcast day when registration started,” said Fessler, who with his children and extended family members enters races using the team name Remembering Ellen.
“But as we welcomed the crowd to the starting line, suddenly the clouds parted … It was Ellen’s way of thanking everybody for being there. I have signs every so often that she’s still here.”
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