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Walk or run to benefit lung cancer patients at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)

September 25, 2018

Pairs and individuals line up at the start of the 2017 Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer 5K Race & Walk.

Register for the 2018 Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer 5K Race & Walk, which takes place on Saturday, November 3 at 8:30 a.m. The event starts and ends at Midtown Athletic Club, 1760 North Hicks Road in Palatine, with a scenic trek through the Deer Grove East Forest Preserve.

All proceeds from the race benefit the NCH Foundation to raise funds for patients struggling with the financial burdens associated with lung cancer. The run helps to raise awareness and honor survivors and those lost to lung cancer. It was started last year by NCH Lung Cancer Patient Navigator Juli Aistars and her husband Val.

“Lung cancer has a stigma,” Juli explains, adding that it doesn’t get the same amount of attention as breast cancer. “I wanted to do something to help people and to raise awareness that no one deserves it, whether they smoked or not.”

Runners can either compete individually in the open division or “pair up” – based on the theme of two lungs, two persons – to combine their scores in the twosome division. For the twosome division, ages are combined as well and placed in the appropriate category. Twosomes need to sign up together but are not obligated to run together.

Awards are given based on top overall male and female finishers; first and second place male and female finishers in each age group; first and second place finishers in each of the twosome age groups; and all 5K finishers 12 and under will receive a Finisher’s Frisbee.

Disposable timing chips will be attached to race bibs to ensure an accurate finish time and race results will be posted online at within two days after the event. The race is USATF certified and sanctioned, featuring a flat, fast route perfect for novice and experienced runners.

All participants and race volunteers will receive ash gray, long-sleeved T-shirts and lung cancer survivors will receive long-sleeved white T-shirts.

Registration fees are $35 now through October 15; $38 October 16 through November 1; and $40 on race day up until 8 a.m. Race packets can be picked up beginning October 27 at Midtown Athletic Club.

A raffle to be held on race day includes a chance to win a breakfast for two at Egg Harbor Café, a wine tasting for six at Lynfred Winery and more.

To donate or register, visit

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. Low dose CT scans can detect lung cancer in its early stages. Learn more at