Lace your running shoes, help Purdue researchers kick cancer

Dr. Tim Ratliff, the director of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, joined us on News 18 at Noon on Thursday to tell us more about The Challenge 5K Walk and Run. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — You can lace up your running shoes and help researchers kick cancer. In a little less than a month, you’ll be able to get outside and raise money to help save lives.

Dr. Tim Ratliff, the director of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, joined us on News 18 at Noon on Thursday to tell us more about The Challenge 5K Run/Walk.

“The Challenge is an opportunity for people to get to know about our center, and understand more about cancer, and to raise funds for our research activities,” Dr. Ratliff said. “We’ve raised over $600,000 since we started this, and all the money goes directly to research.”

With 100 percent of proceeds going straight to research, it makes the annual fundraiser pretty worthwhile. Organizers say The Challenge, which started in 2008, attracts about 1,800 people each year.

“This is the only major event each year,” Dr. Ratliff said in regards to fundraisers. “So it raises a significant amount of money for us and really promotes our research.”

The Challenge 5K takes place Saturday, April 8, at Ross-Ade Stadium, 850 Steven Beering Drive, in West Lafayette. People can preregister online or the day of the event from 7-8:15 a.m. The race starts at 8:30 a.m.

Attendees can run or walk the 5K race.

“They can even sleep in,” Dr. Ratliff joked during the interview.

But it’s true. You can choose to just monetary donate and be a “sleep-in participant.” For more on donating to the cause, visit The Challenge website.

Before Dr. Ratliff left the studio, we asked him: “Why do you do what you do?”

He said, “Because I want to cure cancer. It’s a disease that really affects a lot of families. It affected mine, and I’d like to stop that from happening.”