Cancer survivors share their stories at the third annual Race for Grace Saturday, and this year their support group has nearly tripled.
Runners, running teams and supporters from all around Nebraska and nine other states ran and walked to help those struggling with cancer. The annual race kicked off three years ago with around 600 runners, but this year's event drew in around 1,600 runners.
Angie Ziller, the race director, said the event is not only a great fundraiser, but it's also therapeutic for many families whose loved ones have been affected by cancer.
"I think the race has given people another option," Ziller said. "They can put that bib on and get one another to run and walk, and support that person, or someone that's passed away."
Ziller said one runner told her he was running with photos of loved ones in his pocket who died of cancer.
The funds help the Grace Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Lisa Willman and Julie Pfeiffer in 2008. Both women went through cancer and wanted to give back to the community.
On Saturday, Pfeiffer and Willman cheered runners at the finish line.
Cancer survivor Annie Seitz said the Grace Foundation has been a powerful tool in her healing process.
"Cancer is life-altering, but my family and my friends and Julie Pfeiffer, one of the co–founders, has been amazing," she said. "She goes with me to my doctor's appointments in Omaha and calls to check in on me."
Runners had the option to run a 10K or a two-mile family fun run.
For more information on the foundation, log on to www.GraceFoundationgi.org.