NAPLES, Fla - The Naples running community is coming together to help a single mother in her battle against cancer. Tuesday night, Gulf Coast Runners held a special fundraiser during their summer Dash 'n Dine event.
215 runners came out to support Gulf Coast High School cross country runner Elizabeth Roux's mother. "It was in October of 2012 she got diagnosed. It hit me pretty hard because when you hear the word cancer you think it's the end of the world," says Elizabeth.
Elizabeth's mom has stage four lung cancer. "We got through the year pretty good. She's an accountant and she worked through tax season, but when the summer came around her health caught up to her. Now she can't walk by herself, she's really weak, she hasn't recovered from any of the chemotherapy or the radiation and we have a bunch of medical bills piling up," says Elizabeth. "It's really hard to see her like that."
Elizabeth reached out to Gulf Coast Runners last week and was instantly overwhelmed by an outpouring of support from the local running community. Before the Dash 'n Dine event the Gulf Coast Runners, a local nonprofit, raised $3,000 for Roux's mother.
"I'm not the fastest runner on my team, but I really do enjoy it. I think runners are a certain type of breed of people and I figured since I know a lot of people in the running community, they would be the best place to go to get help."
Between the Dash 'n Dine event, raffle prizes and fundraising from the previous week Gulf Coast Runners raised close to $7,000. All the money raised will go to help Elizabeth's mom with medical bills.
"It's just me and her in the household. I try to keep it up running, but I can't really work right now either. I have too much on my plate to have a job too. It's hard with living expenses and all to just keep going," says Elizabeth.
The fundraiser was also supported by Naples Area Triathletes, Naples Pathways Coalition, Lululemon and Naples Velo.
If you were unable to make the event, but would still like to help out click here: https://runsignup.com/Race/Donate/FL/Naples/DashNDineFundRaiser
For more information on Gulf Coast Runners go to http://gcrunner.org/