BrainUp’s First 5K Run/Walk

On Sunday, October 2, 2016, BrainUp hosted it’s first annual 5K Run/Walk along the scenic running paths at Diversey Harbor in Lincoln Park, Chicago. All funds raised through the participant and team fundraising pages directly supported BrainUp’s mission to fund research and raise awareness for brain cancer programs around the Chicagoland-area.

BrainUp’s inaugural Run/Walk boasted a crowd of over 600 participants and was able to raise more than $130,000 to support brain cancer research. The Run/Walk featured a festival area containing a registration area, a t-shirt tent, complimentary food & beverages, a kids zone with face painting, 104.3 K-Hits radio tent, sponsor tents, a kid’s race and more!

The day was hosted by Jackie Bange, Anchor at WGN-TV News. Jackie, along with BrainUp Co-Founders, Dan and Meg Kresach, help hand out awards to recognize many deserving individuals undergoing or treating brain cancer. BrainUp was honored to recognize Dr. Aidnag Z. Diaz from RUSH Hospital and Dr. Tadanori Tomita from Lurie Children’s Hospital with the distinguished Olivia Kresach Medal of Excellence Award for their dedication to treating brain cancer patients. Annette Sereika, APN from NorthShore and Colleen Masters, APN from RUSH Hospital were both honored with the Healing Heart Award for their unparalleled support and care of brain cancer patients. Donna Van Ryn, a brain cancer survivor, help present the Bravery Award to Ashlyn Kiwala, GloriAnn Byrd and Maddy McInerney, who were bravely battling their brain cancer diagnoses.

BrainUp also awarded the top runners of the 5K race: 1st Place Male: Kevin Happ, 2nd Place Male: John Selvia, 3rd Place Male: Michael McDonald, 1st Place Female: Molly Predergast, 2nd Place Female: Madeline Warkins, 3rd Place Female: Stephanie Janicek. All children who participated in the kid’s fun run were awarded with a medal, as well. BrainUp applauds all participants of the 5K Run & 3K Scenic Walk.

The day could not have happened without the support of BrainUp’s wonderful sponsors, including Jeffrey LaMorte Salon & Day Spa, Paul Klein Travel , First Community Financial Bank, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, RUSH University Medical Center, BrainLab, UIC, Bristol-Myers Squibb, WGN TV News and 104.3 K-Hits.

BrainUp is incredibly grateful for the support of all the families and friends who came out for the inaugural Run/Walk. The day was full of so much love and hope; both of which help propel BrainUp to continue it’s fight to one day find a cure.

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BrainUp is an non-profit organization dedicated to bringing awareness to brain cancer – a disease that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.


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  • 815-277-1128
  • P.O. Box 244, Frankfort, IL 60423


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