The Avera Race Against Breast Cancer is just a few short days away from kicking off it's 25th annual race. During that quarter of a century, the race has raised more than $2.7 Million for cancer research. But it's more than just a fundraiser.
"Here's the picture with everyone that we had racing in it." said Travis Thie, an annual race participant.
For the Thie's, the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer has become a family tradition. And each year Team Thie keeps on growing.
"You know somewhere between 35 and 40 people in last year's race that included the siblings and their kids and their kids' kids so quite a few people." Said Travis Thie.
like most of the race's participants, the Thie family has lost loved ones to this incurable disease. Last year's race was a powerful reminder.
"It was the anniversary of our mom's 30th year of passing and our dad's 15th year of passing, both from cancer, my mom breast cancer and my father esophageal cancer." Said Travis Thie.
For Travis, this race has become a tribute. For his daughter Maddie, she's carrying the torch for the next generation.
"I wanted to support my grandpa and grandma because I never got to meet them and it's a great cause." Said Maddie Thie.
The Thie's consider themselves extremely competitive, not necessarily athletes.
"No! as a matter of fact as far as the siblings go I don't think any of us are really runners!" Said Travis Thie.
They just decided as a family to get moving.
Jake: Was it hard?
Maddie: Um, no.
While it may have been easier for some, running a few short miles can be a challenge. But that's where the motivation of those who have gone before can really help lighten the load.
"Just knowing the pain that most of these breast-cancer individuals go through and knowing that you can do something to help possibly find a cure for this, that's emotional." Said Travis Thie.
You don't have to run, it's ok to walk, the key thing here is show that we as a people and community are united against cancer.
"Come, just be there to support people cheer them on the on the sidelines and encourage people as they come back from the race and just be a part of that morning because it's pretty indescribable you just have to be there to see what it's like." Said Missy Keiper, giving coordinator for the Avera McKennan Foundation.
It's a safe bet that Thie's will be a part of the Avera race as long as there's still a search for a cure. Year after year, they'll carry their family motto with them, each and every mile: live well, work hard, play always, just be.
"It's a wonderful cause and hopefully the dollars raised will help come to find some type of cure for this disease." Said Travis Thie.
There is still time to sign up for the Avera race, you have until May 10th to sign up and if you don't want to run, volunteers are always needed. For more information about just call 877-AT-AVERA.