Susan Squires had just finished chemotherapy after her second bout of breast cancer when she ran the Cancer Firkin Sucks race last year.
“My friend and I were the last ones to cross the finish line,” she said. “So we made a goal to run it this year.”
While she’s not sure they’ll run the whole thing this year, either, she is sure to have a lot of support.
“We decided to put together a group of teachers and staff from Bordewich-Bray so we could all do it together,” said Squires, the vice principal at the school.
About 25 of her co-workers have committed to running the Cancer Sucks 5K on Oct. 5.
“When Susan went through her cancer, she did it with such grace,” said Linda Hurzel, physical education teacher. “She taught not only the staff but our students such compassion.”
Squires was diagnosed three years ago. As she went through chemotherapy and radiation, she was open with the staff and students, showing her own bald head to students who lost their hair for different reasons.
When the cancer came back a year later, she continued to work.
“Who wouldn’t want to be around 600 kids?” she asked.
“They’re my inspiration. If I didn’t work at a school, I don’t know what would have motivated me.”
The run — which began five years ago as the Cancer Firkin Sucks 5K, sponsored by the Pink Totties — is now the Cancer Sucks 5K, sponsored by The Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors and PrimeLending. Proceeds will go to the Carson Tahoe Health Foundation and area cancer patients.
Jessica Dunbar, a second-grade teacher, decided to join the group. She lost her mother to breast cancer nine years ago. Her dad is undergoing chemotherapy now.
“Being a part of the community to support a good cause is really important,” she said. “The money stays local, and helps real people.”
Squires said she expects about 25 people from the school to participate.
“Some of us are going to run, some of us are going to walk,” Squires said.
“But we’re all going to have someone to cross the finish line with.”