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A sea of lime green…
TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
, Staff Writer
What started as a simple gesture of kindness among friends turned into a sea of lime green Saturday, April 27 at the annual Cocalico Community 5K Run/Walk.
When former Cocalico star athlete Rich Fisher, a husband and father, was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma back in mid-November, members of his wife’s Book Club, a group of about 10 to 15 women from the Denver and Ephrata area, decided to step in and do what they could to help.
At first, each month that they met, they delivered a basket to Fisher’s wife Kristi that was filled with items such as snacks, hats, blankets and DVDs, etc., as well as cards with words of encouragement.
"We just came up with little stuff for them, just to kind of give them a lift," said Book Club member Brooke McCracken.
Then Suzanne Engle, wife of Lyndon Engle, who overseas the annual 5K, came up with an idea.
"Suzanne suggested we get T-shirts made to support Rich through the walk, which I thought was a great idea," McCracken said. "Kristy and I designed the shirts, and basically whoever wanted a T-shirt could buy one. Obviously families got together and wanted to run and help support Rich, and it turned into a bit of a fund-raiser for them too."
The shirts were made with the number "13" on the back, which was Rich’s number while starring in several sports as a student at Cocalico years ago. They also were lime green, which is the color representing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Word spread and come the day of the race, as many as half of the runners/walkers competing were donning their lime green in support of Rich.
It certainly was a sight to see.
"It looked like there more people with green shirts than not, which was great to see," McCracken said. "It really just turned into a nice easy way to support them. It was something fun."
And as Rich continues his fight, which will include a stem cell transplant in the near future, both he and Kristi know that her special Book Club has their backs.
"My wonderful friends continue to love and support us," Kristy said of the support they’ve received from the Book Club. "As we face Rich’s stem cell treatment at the University of Pennsylvania, which can be overwhelming to think about him being in Philly for a month, I know I have this band of women to help me at the drop of a hat with anything. Their support has truly been amazing."
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