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Brenda Ladun Conquer Cancer Run: Where the money goes

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The 14th annual Brenda Ladun Conquer Cancer Run offers the community a great way to have a blast while supporting an important mission.

The annual event helps raise money for cancer research, education and prevention, and also patient services right here in Alabama.

“I want to be able to report on the 6:00 news that there’s a cure for cancer and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing,” said Ladun. “That’s why we all join together as a team to find that cure for cancer.”

One of the services ACS funds in Birmingham is the Hope Lodge, known as a home away from home for cancer patients across Alabama who need treatment in Birmingham.

Patients and their loved ones can stay at Hope Lodge for free and focus on getting better. Volunteers cook daily meals and offer support to patients battling the difficult disease.

For Cindy Nelson of Guin, that battle is against stage four brain cancer. Nelson says her vision, speech and hearing are all affected.

Her diagnosis that could be made more difficult with a long commute for radiation, But the Hope Lodge is making life just a little easier for the Nelson and her husband Van.

The Nelsons are staying at Hope Lodge during treatment, instead of driving back and forth daily from Marion County for radiation.

“It makes the patients tired and nauseated and sometimes that’s just not a good place to be in a car going back and forth,” Van explained. “Sometimes you just want to get to a place, put your head down and go to sleep.”

Now this couple so used to serving others, with careers in health and education, is learning how to be on the receiving end of so much kindness.

“It’s an emotional part of getting better and dealing with the problems,” the couple said together. “To know that people care about you, that you don’t even know, it’s touching. You don’t’ really know how long you have time on this earth and for us to have time together, it’s a wonderful place to be able to come and relax and know you’re going to be taken care of.”

Another service the money is used for at ACS it to offer free wigs to women losing their hair from cancer treatments.

“It’s amazing how uplifting that experience is for them to be able to be fitted for a wig when they probably, in many cases might not be able to afford one,” said ACS Executive Director Ginny Tucker.

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