Making a Difference: Juniors host 5K for Wesley Long Hospital

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Curtis Peaslee (left) and Joshua Hairston (right) won second and first place in the 5K race, respectively.

Meredith Sinkler worked for months on this project with her best friend and teammate, Samantha Gregory. The pair executed the race very well, raising around $5,000.

Photos contributed by Samantha Gregory

Wesley Long Hospital. Many Northwest families may recognize this name because someone they know has received treatment there. Well-known for their cancer center, Wesley Long has made an impact on many people’s lives, including junior Meredith Sinkler’s.

Sinkler was inspired to start the Beating Cancer for the Long Run 5K and fun run due to a reason that hits close to home. Sinkler’s father, Clark, was diagnosed with Stage 3 duodenal cancer in the spring of 2017. This form of cancer affects the small intestine, which required surgery and months of chemotherapy.

“When my dad was diagnosed [with cancer], [Wesley Long] helped my family out a lot and I wanted to give back to them,” Sinkler said.

Fueled by this desire to give back to the Cone Health Cancer Center, Sinkler teamed with best friend and teammate, junior Samantha Gregory. The two girls have been planning this event for months, working together with several Northwest staff members and many members of the Northwest girls’ lacrosse team.

On the day of the race, April 28, 2018, volunteers met at Northwest a few hours before the 5K started. Most of the volunteers were students who worked hard to help out co-directors Sinkler and Gregory.

They have been working on setting up this run since December, which involved various challenges along the way.

“Getting sponsors, talking to the sponsors, advertising the race to everybody, setting up the course and selling tickets at lunch were things that had to be done in preparation for the race,” Sinkler said.

The 5K started at 10:00 a.m. and runners were expected to arrive at 9:30 a.m. to pick up race bibs and shirts at a tent. There was also a tent for late registration. The 5K began at the field hockey field and ended on the track. The course consisted of running in the woods, parking lots, both high school and middle school campuses, cross country trails and athletic fields.

After the 5K, there was a fun run on the track. Several children enjoyed this, along with their parents.

Concluding the race, a raffle was held for different prizes. The winner of the 5K raffle won a candy basket, while the winner of the fun run raffle won tickets to the Greensboro Science Center.

The girls’ hard work certainly did not go unnoticed. About $5,000 was raised by approximately 200 participants. Meredith’s friends commented on how proud they were of her and acknowledged how much work went into the 5K.

“She put so much work into this. I’m just so proud of how well she did and how great [the 5K] turned out,” junior Morgan Sutton said.