By Amanda Foust
Zionsville resident Jennifer Lowe has long been a supporter of the local Relay for Life event, but her experience battling cancer led her to become a team captain in 2015, using her experience to help others.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, she has now been in remission for more than three years. During her battle with the disease, she said the community rallied around her, bringing food and offering support.
“Even some people I didn’t know—strangers—would leave things at our door,” Lowe said.
Fundraising and participating with Relay for Life is her way of thanking the community and giving back.
“I am so grateful for this community because I couldn’t have gone through this anywhere else,” Lowe said, “and now there are others I can help on this journey through Relay for Life.”
Not only did Lowe battle cancer, but she has also studied the disease too. Lowe is a board-certified oncology pharmacist.
“I know cancer because of my oncology background, but actually having been through it is a whole different experience,” Lowe said.
Lowe and her co-captains Jen Killinger and Kathy Smith formed the WE CAN-SUR VIVE Relay for Life team. The team will hold its second annual Family Fun Run and Walk as a fundraiser at 6 p.m. May 13 at Mulberry Fields.
“The Family Fun Run is for a great cause, and I would love to get more people to sign up to help support Relay for Life,” Lowe said.
Last year, Zionsville’s Relay for Life event raised more than $6,000. The event is not focused on competition but instead promotes community awareness. People come together for an evening to run or walk and share light snacks. This year’s event is set for noon June 10 at Lions Park.
In addition to her job as team captain, Lowe is also on the Relay for Life leadership committee. She has planned a survivors dinner for June 10 — the same day of the Relay for Life event – and is looking for survivors of all ages to attend the dinner.
Relay for Life always includes a survivors lap. Following Lowe’s diagnosis, event organizers were encouraging her to take the lap with survivors. Lowe expressed concerns and reservations about only being Stage I and not deserving to participate with the survivors who endured a more rigorous treatment.
“But at the end of the day, we decided that my story might be important from a different point of view,” Lowe said. “My participation could open the eyes of the 30 to 40 year old women who don’t make time in their busy lives for mammograms because they’re young and underestimate their risk.”
Family Fun Run and Walk
When: 6 p.m. May 13
Where: Mulberry Fields, 9645 Whitestown Road, Zionsville
Cost: $10 in advance, $15 on the day of the event. Family tickets are $25 in advance, $30 the day of the event.
More info: Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. race day. To sign up for the WE CAN-SUR VIVE Relay for Life team visit, https://wecansurvivefamilyfunrunwalk.eventbrite.com