UC Berkeley Students, Bay Area Locals Run in 5th Annual Jog for Jill

Posted by Samantha Powell on March 18th, 2014 |

Date: 3/18/14
Outlet Full Name: The Daily Californian
Author: Becca Benham

On Sunday, more than 600 UC Berkeley students and other Bay Area locals participated in the fifth annual Jog for Jill run to honor lung cancer victim and UC Berkeley alumna Jillian Costello and to raise money for lung cancer research.

Hosted by Jill’s Legacy, a branch of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, the 5K run raised approximately $25,000, adding to the foundation’s past fundraising successes of more than $800,000 since its establishment in 2011. Students from campus sports teams, Greek organizations and other groups ran through the UC Berkeley campus to support Costello, who passed away in June 2010, one month after she graduated.

“This event might have been even more powerful this year because (many students who participated) didn’t know Jill or her story,” said Jennifer Hughes, manager of affiliates and independent fundraisers for the foundation. “Although the run didn’t have as many participants (as it has in previous years at UC Berkeley), it still brought huge awareness for young college students about lung cancer.”

From Greek life to rowing crew, Costello was an enthusiastic member in various parts of the UC Berkeley community. Though she was diagnosed with stage-IV lung cancer her junior year, she was determined to not let the cancer slow her down. Instead, in the year of her passing, she graduated with high marks after winning a gold medal with Cal’s varsity rowing team in the Pac-10 championship and a silver medal in the NCAA championships.

An activist against lung cancer, Costello lost her battle — but her legacy lives on both within the UC Berkeley community and across the nation.

“(The cause) really hit home for me,” said Daniel Hamilton, a UC Berkeley freshman and member of Kappa Alpha Order who placed second at the finish line for his age group. “Once I found out about how closely associated it was with our school and my friends, I wanted to make sure I went out and supported.”

In addition to organizing this event on the UC Berkeley campus, Jill’s Legacy facilitates Jog for Jill walks at campuses across the country to spread Jill’s story and to raise awareness for the second leading cause of death in the United States.

One of Jill’s Legacy’s goals is to eradicate the assumption that lung cancer emerges solely as a result of smoking in order to emphasize the importance of studying lung cancer in diagnosed youth. Jog for Jill’s most recent fundraising efforts will contribute to the Young Lung Cancer Study, which will be launched later this spring.

“(This group is so important) because the young adult voice carries different levels of energy and enthusiasm to the lung-cancer awareness message,” said Matt Notley, communications spokesperson for the foundation.

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