Thousands participate in 30th annual ABC7 Gibbons Run, stepping off from Montrose Harbor

'We need to continue to doing this event until no one is lost to leukemia'

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, June 1, 2024
Thousands participate in 30th annual ABC7 Gibbons Run
Thousands laced up for the 30th annual ABC7 Gibbons Run on Saturday morning at Montrose Harbor.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thousands laced up their shoes Saturday for a run in search of a cure for Leukemia.

ABC7's 30th annual Gibbons Run is named in honor of legendary reporter Jim Gibbons who died from leukemia in 1994.

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The 5K run stepped off Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. along the lakefront at Montrose Harbor.

The 30th annual ABC7 Gibbons Race stepped off from Montrose Harbor on Saturday morning.

The event has raised nearly $2 million since it started to help fund critical medical research.

"The Leukemia Research Foundation continues to make a significant impact in helping to find a cure for leukemia," said John Idler, ABC7 president and general manager. "We are very proud of our longstanding partnership with them and excited to celebrate this 30-year milestone. Through supporting

this event and leukemia research, we have the opportunity to honor the memory of a colleague, Jim Gibbons, and make a positive impact in the lives of those affected by this disease."

"Thanks to the support of ABC7, we are able to make a real difference in the lives of those affected by leukemia," said Kevin Radelet, executive director of the Leukemia Research Foundation. "We are beyond grateful for their unwavering support and proud to celebrate 30 years of our partnership. With their help, we are able to continue to accelerate the development of new and better treatments, with the ultimate goal of helping to find a cure for leukemia."

ABC7's Dionne Miller spoke to a leukemia survivor, Marie Fuesel, before the race.

ABC7 Dionne Miller speaks to to leukemia survivor, Marie Fuesel right before the race.

Fuesel said she became involved because of her oncology nurse who encouraged her to come to walk and then to run. She has been running the Gibbons Run for 12 years. She is a part of our Carol's Team of Hope.

Kevin Radelet is the Executive Director of the Leukemia Research Foundation.

"We started here in 1946 and the vision of course at that time was to find a cure. And that vision is still what we focus on," said Radelet. "Survival rates have increased significantly since we started."

Casey Jacobs of Glenview ran the ABC7 Gibbons Run to support her husband Pat who is currently going through treatment.

Andy Hanson is a 30-year leukemia survivor and former board president of the Leukemia Research Foundation.

Casey Jacobs of Glenview ran the ABC7 Gibbons Run to support her husband Pat who is now in remission after undergoing a bone marrow transplant in December.

30-year Leukemia survivor and former Leukemia Research Foundation's board president Andy Hanson speaks to Dionne Miller.

"We were blindsided. We didn't know it would ever happen to us," recalled Jacobs.

That's why Jacobs said events like these are important to help families know they're not alone.

"You need family, friends - anyone who can come help you to know you're not the only one," said Jacobs.

"The education support that we got from the medical community, really made a big difference in our battle," said Hanson.

Hanson said a lot has changed since the start of the run.

"Thirty years ago there was no chance of a cure," said Hanson. "The cure rates continue to go up year over year. We need to continue to doing this event until no one is lost to leukemia."