BrainUp 2nd Annual 5K Run/Walk – October 15, 2017

BrainUp 2nd Annual 5K Run/Walk – October 15, 2017

BrainUp held its 2nd Annual 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, October 15th, 2017 at soldier field, Chicago. The run and walk routes were both very scenic, going along the lakefront paths of Lake Michigan. All funds raised through participation and team fundraising pages went directly to BrainUp’s mission to fund research and raise awareness for brain cancer programs in and around Chicago.

Despite the rainy day before and the morning of, BrainUp’s Run/Walk had over 1,000 participants and raised nearly $200,000! The Run/Walk featured a festival area containing a registration area, a t-shirt tent, complimentary food & beverages provided by Jewel Osco, Paramount Events, and Papa Nicholas, a kid’s zone with face painting and balloon twisting, a DJ tent, sponsor tents, a kid’s race and more!

The day was hosted once again by Jackie Bange, WGN-Anchor and Garry Meier, acclaimed radio host. Jackie, Garry, and BrainUp’s Co-Founders, Dan and Meg Kresach, helped handout awards to many brave individuals who are battling brain cancer. BrainUp was so grateful to honor Dr. Ryan Merrell from NorthShore University, HealthSystem, and Dr. Kelly Nicholas from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine at Chicago, with the Olivia Kresach Medal of Excellence, Teri Birch, BSN, RN from The University of Chicago Medicine and Rey Vela, RN from RUSH University Medical Center with the Helping Hand Award. BrainUp was also honored to acknowledge Tracy Bramlett, Matthew Brancato, Brian A. Finnegan, Rick Ledesma, Crystal Gates, and Stacy Rutyna-Rose with the Bravery Award for their unending bravery they have while fighting their brain cancer, presented by Ashlyn Kiwala.
BrainUp also awarded the top runners of the 5K race: 1st Place Male: Thomas Kim, 2nd Place Male: George Sereika, 3rd Place Male: Will Benvenuto, 1st Place Female: Jana Mendro, 2nd Place Female: Jenny Eslick, 3rd Place Female: Lauren Keller. All children who participated in the kid’s fun run were awarded with a ribbon, as well. BrainUp applauds all participants of the 5K Run & 3K Scenic Walk.

We could not be more thankful for all our amazing sponsors, including The University of Chicago Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, NorthShore Neurological Institute, Rush Radiosurgery, UIC, Novocure, Paul Klein Travel, First Community Bank, and E. Anthony Inc! We also thank all of our In-kind partners for their amazing support; Papa Nicholas, Jewel Osco and Paramount Events. Finally, a special thanks to our media partner, Chicago’s very own WGN9!
BrainUp is extremally grateful for all of the support of families and friends who came out for the Run/Walk, rain or shine. The event had a great turn out and was such a positive and hopeful day for all of the participants and supporters. We are also thankful for all those who could not make it, but were there in spirit. BrainUp appreciates all of the support because it allows us to fund critical research and, one day, find a cure to brain cancer. We are already excited for the BrainUp Run/Walk next year and hope to see you all there!

brainup logo tm

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


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


Stay in the know with BrainUp's fight against brain cancer. 

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.