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Hope Starts Here Challenge a great way to give back

Bouquets and Barbs

Bouquet: When a person is diagnosed with a brain tumor, it can be a life-changing situation that impacts many facets of life for the person and their loved ones.

Due to this, Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center — a collaboration between Northern Michigan University and UP Health System-Marquette — brings clinicians, researchers and NMU students together to advance treatment, research, education and advocacy for people affected by brain tumors.

Through its research, the UMBTC works to increase the quality of life for brain tumor patients and ultimately find a cure or better treatment options for the condition.

And one way the community has historically been able to support this mission is through the annual Hope Starts Here Challenge, which typically offers area residents a chance to walk or run to raise funds for UMBTC.

However, like many events this year, this year’s IncredibleBank Hope Starts Here Challenge has undergone a format change and will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant participants could take part in a duathlon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, leisure walk, 1-mile kids fun run, 10-mile mountain bike ride and an all-new 31K run from anywhere they choose any time between Aug. 22 and Sunday.

Those who participate can even submit their self-timed result through their account. Organizers have also created a Virtual Hope Starts Here Challenge event page on Facebook for participants to share pictures and post inspiring messages, according to www.hopestartshere.org.

We encourage area residents to participate in this event, as it’s a wonderful way to support local brain tumor patients and research while getting some exercise and enjoying the outdoors.

And we are glad to hear the fundraising is already off to a strong start.

Larry Collister earned the 2020 Hope Starts Here Fundraising Champion award for his $5,000 contribution to the event in honor of his wife Patti and has also decided to donate $1,000 annually “due to the great care Patti received from the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center,” organizers said.

Furthermore, IncredibleBank donated $5,000 as the title sponsor.

We commend IncredibleBank and Collister for their generous contributions to this cause and we hope to see other area businesses and individuals get involved and contribute however they can, as it can make a big difference for those battling brain tumors.

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