Run with the Breast of Us

Run/walk event to raise funds for The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge work

After doctors found a mass during her routine mammogram in 2012, Tina Ellis decided – without hesitation – to have a double mastectomy due to her family’s strong history of cancer.

Now, Ellis is leading the first “Run with the Breast of Us” 5K run/walk event set for the morning of Saturday, Aug. 3, in Brownsdale. Part of the annual Brownsdale Fest that weekend, the new event will raise awareness about breast cancer along with funding support for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research in Austin.

“It is because of my experience that I decided to create this event to spread cancer awareness in my community and help raise money to become one step closer to finding a cure,” Ellis said.

The “Run with the Breast of Us” 5K run/walk is set to start at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, beginning at Brownsdale Elementary School. Same-day registration will run from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. at the school in Brownsdale, a community located northeast of Austin along Minnesota Highway 56.

Event registration – which is open to all ages – is $18 per adult and $10 for children age 12 and younger. Pre-registration forms for “Run with the Breast of Us” are available at the Greenway store in Brownsdale.

Organizers have developed a 5K route – about 3.1 miles – that includes a paved surface for half of the route and gravel for the other half, Ellis said. Directions will be given the morning of the event.

Water, fruit and gift bags will be handed out after participants complete the 5K course. A post-race prize drawing will give away several items donated by individuals for “Run for the Breast of Us.”

Donations from “Run with the Breast of Us” will go toward The Hormel Institute Breast Cancer Research Fund. Check donations can be made to The Hormel Institute as part of the event on or before Aug. 3.

The Hormel Institute continues to make progress in finding ways to prevent and control breast cancer as well as other types of cancer, Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong said.

“We are very thankful for this new event to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research,” Dong said. “Research is the only answer to cancer, and this type of community support is vital in helping our scientists in their extensive efforts to find better answers to this devastating disease.”

The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, is a world-renowned medical research center in Austin, Minn., focused on discoveries leading to the prevention and control of cancer.

In July 2013, The Hormel Foundation announced a $23 million commitment toward The Hormel Institute’s next major expansion set to break ground in 2014. The expansion will add needed laboratories and space for its International Center of Research Technology. The Hormel Foundation will provide $13.5 million in funding as a match to the State of Minnesota’s bonding for the expansion and an additional $9.5 million for recruiting top scientists, equipping labs with state-of-the-art technologies, and creating a cutting-edge environment for progressive cancer research.

Currently, leaders at The Hormel Institute are hiring three new cancer research sections to fill the remaining lab space created by the Institute’s 2006-2008 major expansion. The Hormel Foundation contributed $16.7 million toward the 2006-2008 project, which tripled the size of The Hormel Institute and allowed space for doubling the number of faculty and staff jobs.