Women’s Saturday Run in Berlin: Showcase the vision and do well – Sports

It’s a topic that makes many people uncomfortable and that little is said: hospice homes – the place where people are cared for when they die. Kristen Hoffman and colleague Mirja Byrnes want to change that, they want to make the image stand out and help attract more attention. The two work at the home of Paul Gerhardt, Hoffmann as a nurse and Behrens as a physiotherapist. “We mainly work with cancer patients,” Hoffman says. “This palliative care is still a taboo topic, as is cancer.”

This is also one of the reasons why the two took part in the “Ladies Koro Run in Berlin”. They want to collect as many donations as possible for the Berlin Cancer Society. “Because we work in a nursing home, we know how important fundraising is,” Hoffman says. Hospice must generate five percent of the costs themselves through donations. In the past two years, the women’s race has been canceled due to the pandemic, and about 10,000 participants are now expected to attend the Tiergarten on Saturday afternoon. One euro of the participation fee goes to the Cancer Society in Berlin.

Hoffman and her colleague have sporting experience: they raced last year, at that time it was a hypothetical. The walking distance was five kilometres, and they want to double it this year because participants can choose the distance that works for them. “Running in a group and working well with her is what drove us to participate again this year,” says Hoffman.

In preparation, the two trained together in the garden of Charlottenburg Palace and in Tiergarten. Due to Hoffmann’s professional activity, this was not always easy to achieve. “While working in shifts, training together is a huge challenge.”

Sport plays an important role, especially in the context of cancer

Hoffman gave herself a pair of snowboarding boots for her 50th birthday last year, with which she has been training ever since. She says that walking and roller skating are a good combination, because the movements are very similar. She struck two of her other teammates with her enthusiasm, and they have now also registered for the race. She hopes more will join next year.

What’s special this year is that for the first time, women with breast cancer receive not only financial support. “We want to help women with all types of cancer through the Suffering Fund,” says Barbara Kempf, managing director of the Berlin Cancer Society. “Because financial distress doesn’t stop at rare cancers.”

This also includes women who escaped cancer from Ukraine in Berlin. Thanks to the hybrid format, runners from all over the world can theoretically participate and fundraise from anywhere. “Last year a group from Lower Bavaria got together with women of all age groups. It was amazing.” Ukrainian marathon runner Titjana Kozina, who had to flee with her children, will be there, too. Spring Schönborn, Christina Gierdes and Lisa Hanner are expected to come from Berlin.

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Sport plays an important role, especially in the context of cancer. “Many studies have shown that exercise is important in many ways for cancer patients,” Kempf explains. “You can also see that in healthy people: you feel stronger and better if you exercise regularly and this can also be applied to people with cancer.” Studies have shown that regular physical activity has a positive effect on the course of the disease effect. “Above all, the risk of developing complications from the infection is reduced under chemotherapy.”

After surviving breast cancer, the risk of recurrence can also be reduced, and the length of hospital stay can also be shortened, for example in the case of leukemia, by working under specialist supervision. “But it’s notable that people who didn’t exercise before the illness are hard to convince,” Kempf says. Sport is a good balance and an important outlet – also for gaining mental strength.

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