Never much of an athlete before, she decided to take on a half marathon, and eventually building her strength and stamina enough to successfully complete two. Unfortunately, Emily lost her fight in January 2008.
That is one reason why when Bethann Wilkie, a longtime friend of Emily’s, asked, “Why don’t we do a 5k in memory of Emily for ovarian cancer research and awareness?” it seemed like a bright idea. From that decision, the ideas just seemed to tumble out: an evening run, through the neighborhood where Emily grew up, mile markers like Lite Brites…until the small yet significant details came together to form what is Bright Night 5k.
One refrain from Emily during her fight against ovarian cancer was, “I wish there was more creative and innovative research going on for ovarian cancer.” Therefore, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center was an obvious choice when it came time for donations. Lineberger’s commitment to a whole person — not just a disease or a diagnosis — and those affected along with their novel and translational research lets us know we can make a difference.
To date the Bright Night 5k has raised more than $20,000 for Ovarian Cancer Research, lighting the way for bright ideas.