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Colon Cancer Run Set

March 05, 2013

Report in: The Suffolk News-Herald
By: Matthew Ward

When North Suffolk’s 33-year-old Julie Stevens learned she had high blood pressure, the trim married mother of one decided to make some changes in her life.

The unexpected discovery came toward the end of 2012, and now the branch operations manager for TowneBank has joined the area’s seemingly growing ranks of runners.

“I’m on two medications for it, and the doctor said exercise would help,” she said of her condition.

Stevens has registered for April 6’s Bon Secours 5K for Colon Cancer and 1-Mile Fun Walk, an annual event raising money for the Maryview Foundation Cancer Fund to help provide care for colon cancer patients.

Exercise: Julie Stevens has taken to running after discovering toward the end of 2012 that she has high blood pressure. Participating in events like April’s Bon Secours 5K Colon Cancer and 1-mile Fun Walk helps her stay motivated, she said. (Matthew A. Ward/Suffolk News-Herald)

Her employer is this year’s presenting sponsor, and the Suffolk News-Herald is a media sponsor. The five-kilometer run begins at Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View at 8 a.m., and the one-mile fun walk gets under way there at 8:15 a.m.

It costs $25 to register for the event in advance, or $30 on race day. Discounts are available for teams of five or more runners or walkers, and participants younger than 12 cost $12.

Along with the desire to improve her health enough to not have to take medication, Stevens said that bouts of colon cancer in her family have also inspired her to sign up for the event.

“It’s always good to support causes that affect you directly,” she said.

Also, she was a candy striper at Maryview “back in the day … I literally wore the red-and-white pinafore,” and it’s where her baby was delivered.

Stevens can be found out pounding the pavement three or four times a week and also has an elliptical exercise machine at home.

“My goal is to continue to exercise and come off the medication,” she said. “I don’t want to be on them.”

Like many new to regular exercise, Stevens said it is hard to stay motivated. “I’ve never had to really worry about it,” she said.

“Now there’s this run, and I can do that as one of my goals.… There’s a whole community of runners out there. I have learned that a lot of people run as free exercise. It’s easy to do, and you can do it anywhere.”

She said she also wants to improve her health as a good example for her 3-year-old daughter.

Register online for the Bon Secours run/walk at

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