Soccer ball

Cancer survivor to juggle 5K soccer ball for TGP venue fundraising race

Bottom of the Solstice Steps overlooking Lake Erie at sunrise, Lakewood Park

On June 6, National Cancer Survivors Day, The Gathering Place (TGP) will hold its annual Race for the Place fundraising event. To help promote and encourage participation, Frances Inak, a Lakewood resident and breast cancer survivor, will walk 5 km while juggling a soccer ball around Lakewood Park a few days prior. If you are interested in making a donation or participating in the virtual run, you can register on The Gathering Place website:

The Gathering Place, which has two locations, one in Westlake and one in Beachwood, offers free services to cancer patients and their families. The wide range of services include, but are not limited to, physical, emotional, nutritional and financial counseling, help with navigating complex medical information for many types of cancer, as well as group discussions and activities. such as arts and crafts, cooking, Zumba, yoga and tai chi. They provide free wigs and have even offered personal massages and reiki sessions. In general, they offer comprehensive and amazing programming to uplift body, mind and spirit and meet the needs of those affected by cancer in a welcoming, friendly, warm and safe environment.

Frances received so much support from The Gathering Place throughout her journey as she went through her doctor visits, her medical prognosis, her treatment options, and often just overwhelming fear. TGP helped Frances stay hopeful through some very dark times, and she survived with great gratitude. As she underwent three surgeries and many weeks with limited activity and limited arm movements, to stay active, Frances revisited a skill she learned in her early 30s, kicking a soccer ball. She started juggling the ball for outdoor activities, and as she progressed she challenged herself to hit 1000 kicks without dropping the ball. Striving to hit the soccer ball has become intrinsically linked to her struggle to hit cancer.

In the spirit of Covid’s creative endeavors, Frances began filming her 1,000 successful juggles at cool locations in Lakewood and throughout the Greater Cleveland area, and began posting them on her website, www.kickingcancer1000. com. To date, there are over 265 successful videos. It’s a virtual tour of interesting places and in every place there are 1000 kicks for cancer. As Frances juggled, she caught the attention of passers-by who stopped to talk and share their own stories and reactions, some of which are mentioned in her posts.

To celebrate a year of successful kicks, soccer balls and cancer, Frances will walk 5 miles while juggling a soccer ball at Lakewood Park on June 3, the anniversary of her first 1,000-kicks video. Lakewood Park. In addition, she will participate for the first time in the virtual 5K Race for the Place on June 6. She hopes anyone interested will join her. She doesn’t promise that she won’t drop the ball in the 5K juggling walk, which will take around 5 hours, she has no doubts she will, but she at least hopes to drop it within a a thousand times. 🙂

Article co-authored with an anonymous friend