Sophie’s Run promotes awareness for colorectal cancer

Sophie's Run is an event to promote and educate students about colorectal cancer. (Photo: Ruth Escarlan) Sophie's Run is an event to promote and educate students about colorectal cancer. (Photo: Ruth Escarlan)

Ruth Escarlan
News Reporter

A check-up for colorectal cancer means getting an inspection below the belt, which in most cases is more than a little embarrassing for students.

Sophie’s Run II is an event to promote and educate students about colorectal cancer. Sophie’s Run was launched by Nicole Chuchman, a professor of Hospitality and Tourism at Humber.

She will run from Humber North campus to Ottawa on April 14, 2016.

“It’s raising more awareness which is what this disease needs because my mom passed away because she ignored her symptoms,” said Chuchman. “So the more education we can get out of it, the better.”

To deal with the grief of her mother Sophie’s death from colorectal cancer, Chuchman started running.

“I was not a runner at all, I would just run to the end of my street and walk home. But I fell in love with running, (and) before I knew it I was running 20 kilometers a day,” said Chuchman.

Chuchman ran the first Sophie’s Run in 2008 from her hometown Milton, Ont., to New York City. Hence the name Sophie’s Run II for the Etobicoke-to-Ottawa run. Chuchman decided to have a second run to give students in the Tourism and Hospitality Management the experience of planning and apply what they’ve learned.

“We have the Event Management students doing the launch of the run,” she said. “The Hospitality Operations Management students are planning the first day of the run along with another class who does the 5K here every April — they’re making that the launch of Sophie’s Run II.

“The Sport Management students are doing some sponsorship, and my students at the degree are also doing events tied to it. So I thought it was a good learning opportunity for the students,” said Chuchman.

MaryJo Sterns, the program coordinator for Tourism and Hospitality Management – Event Planning at Humber, will also be on the journey.

“I will be on the road managing everybody, but I will not actually be physically running. I’m pretty excited about it because of the initiative that’s grown here at Humber,” said Sterns.

Sarah Pollack, a 21-year-old second-year student in Tourism and Hospitality – Event Planning, is the chairwoman for Sohpie’s Run II.

“We’re throwing a launch party to promote colorectal cancer, her [Chuchman’s] run, awareness and to raise money,” said Pollack. “We’re going to be serving lots of food, doing a draw with lots of prizes, [and] we’re going to have a photo booth.”

The party held yesterday was seeking to raise $5,000 for colorectal cancer awareness and research.

Anthony Destefano, a 19-year-old second-year Tourism and Hospitality student, has Churchman as a professor and helped plan the party event.

“She was amazing, she was a really good teacher,” said Destefano.

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