Landis Fire Department sets up Survivors Run/Walk Race
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó Ask any Landis firefighter and he will tell you about the brotherhood of the men who fight fires side-by-side.
Ask a firefighter here about his response to the news that two women their brothers love were recently diagnosed with breast cancer and he will tell you: Do everything you can.
Katie Bowman, the girlfriend of firefighter David Sells, and Donna Rowland, whose husband, Tim, is a firefighter, were diagnosed with breast cancer in July.
Bowman is undergoing radiation treatment while Rowland had a double mastectomy and is exploring reconstructive surgery.
The two women have been good friends for about six years and have come to heavily rely on each other throughout their ordeals.
“It really touched our hearts that here we’ve got 16 firefighters who have 16 spouses and girlfriends, and here it hit us in a week with two,” said Fire Chief Reed Linn.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The firefighters looked at what they could do immediately and that was to prepare meals, mow the grass and help with any other duties they could.
Then they began thinking about doing more.
Bowman’s medical costs have reached $30,000 and Rowland is looking at more than $100,000 in surgery bills.
“We started with how we could raise money to help offset these costs,” Linn said.
The Landis Fire Department is hosting its first Survivors Run/Walk Race on Oct 24.
The money raised will benefit the two women and help with their medical costs.
Organizers had such a large early response that they decided the walk was not the end of it.
“We would establish a fund to help people in the future, whether they are our own or someone locally who isn’t affiliated with the fire department,” Linn said.
The run/walk race begins at the Landis pool on West Rice Street. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., the runners’ race begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walkers’ race begins at 9 a.m. The race is 3.2 miles.
If paid in advance, the cost per runner is $20 for adults and $10 for children younger than 12. The day of the event, adults must pay $30 to enter and registration for children under 12 is $20.
The first 75 adults and first 25 children participating will receive a T-shirt and a bag of goodies. Trophies will be given to the first-, second- and third-place finishers in each male and female category.
The first cancer survivor runner/walker to cross the finish line will also receive a first-place trophy.
Medals will be given to the first-place winners in each age group.
There will also be a raffle for several gift baskets. Tickets are $1.
The course is similar to the former Heritage 5K Run for Life the fire department hosted in the past. It will begin on West Rice Street and return there. The course will run through the southwestern portion of town.
For more information about the race, contact the town of Landis at 704-857-2411 or e-mail Jen Linn at email@example.com or Katie Miller at ktmiller@ctc. net.