By Ben Grimaudo
Canalside Chronicles Staff
Brockport senior cross-country runner Lauren Bates is taking “cross country running” to new heights. On June 14th, Bates is flying to San Francisco where she will begin the start of a cross country relay which spans 4,000 meters ending in Boston. Bates will be running to raise money for the Ulman Cancer Fund, with a goal of $4,500. In order to raise money, Bates held a 4,000-meter walk and run at The College at Brockport on Sunday, March 3rd called the Brockport 4Kuring Cancer.
For Bates, the event is personal. She is running in honor of her grandfather, a two-time cancer survivor, as well as her high school friend, Courtney Wagner died after battling brain cancer.
“Cancer has really impacted my life and I wanted to do something in their honor,” Bates said.
Several of her friends and her Brockport track and field teammates at Brockport attended and volunteered the event in support of Bates. Amanda Palumbo was among the volunteers and has known Bates since her freshman year.
“I have known Lauren since one of the first weeks of my freshman year. We are seniors now so well over four years,” Palumbo said.
Bates’ mother, Angela Bates was also in attendance and she is very proud of the work that her daughter is doing.
“I am very proud of Lauren, and most importantly I am thrilled that her teammates and classmates and family and friends came out today to support her effort to direct more funding to young adults and teenager’s cancer research. I know that’s an area that’s under-funded, so I think it is so important to get the word about it,” Angela Bates said.
Lauren Bates who needs to raise a total $4,500 for her race was hoping that the Brockport 4Kuring Cancer would help her reach her goal.
“Before today I was at 2,000 dollars so I am hoping that this event helps me get closer to that goal,” Lauren Bates said.
The process for planning the event was a lot more difficult than she originally expected. “It took a lot more time than I was originally expecting it too. Everything here was completely donated so I did not spend any money on the event. I was amazed with how generous our community was with donations, but it also took a lot of work on my part to get all of the donations,” Lauren Bates said.
Several different organizations including Wegmans, Athletes in Action and Christ Community Church in Brockport all contributed to the walk and run. Lauren Bates is hoping that her event will help inspire people and bring awareness.
“I think when you do events like this it kind of tells everybody that every person here has their own story of whose been impacted by cancer. I love that this event can bring everyone together and raise awareness and unite our community,” Lauren Bates said.
Bates will be running between 10 and 16 miles a day finishing in Boston on August 4th. Her friends and family will be supporting her along the way.
Palumbo who is from Buffalo said, “There’s a couple stops where she is going to be in Buffalo and I am from Buffalo. So, I am going to make sure that I go and I am going to stay with her on those stops.”
In fall of 2018, Lauren Bates will begin attending the University of North Carolina for graduate school where she will be concentrating on exercise oncology.