By Olivia Pink ’17
With the official end of winter, the warm weather and blooming flowers of spring brings forth a group of people who are looking to make a difference.
For residents of Boston, this means participating in one of the dozens of 5Ks that are hosted throughout the busy city streets. While there are fun and exciting 5Ks, such as the “Foam Fest” in September, which includes an obstacle course with the world’s largest inflatable waterslide, mud pits, and 2.5 million cubic feet of foam, there are other races used to promote self-health, cancer research, and ending hunger in Massachusetts, among others.
For an upcoming race, various teams and individual participants will run and walk alongside Carson Beach in South Boston to raise both awareness and funds for Multiple Myeloma. Since its start in 2001, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) has raised over $25.5 million because of the inspiring participants who continue to support those affected.
Senior Andrew Romans participates to honor his mother, who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma during his sophomore year. Each year, Romans, along with a large team consisting of family and friends, gathers around the starting line, each with matching shirts that proudly represent “Team Mony Mony.” For Romans, the atmosphere at such an event is what stands out the most.
“It’s so positive, encouraging, and uplifting to see families, friends, survivors, patients and their caregivers rally together,” said Romans. “It’s great to see that no one person is fighting alone.”
From Roman’s perspective, this walk is about trying to make history and find a cure, and with the support demonstrated at such events, he “absolutely believes we can.”
Another race, the National Eating Disorder Association hosts a 5K event May 7 at Newton High School and promotes physical and mental health advocacy. For all of those involved, the walk is about lending support for those who have struggled with eating disorders and to give self-empowerment and confidence for those who continue to fight the battle. Because eating disorders affect 10 million men and 20 million women worldwide, this walk is crucial for raising awareness and setting the stage for progress.
Senior Hannah Walsh will be participating in the event for the first time.
“It brings me excitement, honor and pride,” said Walsh. “I’m excited to be able to walk with others that have suffered or are suffering from an eating disorder.”
As someone who has bravely fought her own battle with an eating disorder, this event is especially important for Walsh. “I have so much pride to be able to accept my disorder and be able to raise awareness around eating disorders.”
Walsh and Romans, each of whom are participating in both 5Ks, make it evident that events like these are a staple for bringing people together to lend support and raise awareness for important causes.