Wellness Center's Run for Ron 5K raises colon cancer awareness, aids employee


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Normally Ron Renfro spends his days helping people get healthy. Now the personal trainer at The Wellness Center is getting some assistance with his own health.

Renfro is undergoing treatment for colon cancer. To help with his expenses, and to raise awareness for colon cancer, The Wellness Center is putting on the Run for Ron 5K on July 4. The event starts at 9 a.m.

“Ron has been with Mountain States Health Alliance more than 20 years, and knowing that and what type of person he is, and what he’s going through, it seemed right to try to help him out,” said Kevin Harkness, corporate director, Wellness Initiatives at Mountain States Health Alliance.

Race-day registration is from 7-8 a.m. The pre-registration fee is $25; race-day registration is $30. Register at The Wellness Center, 200 Med Tech Parkway, or at Foot Rx, 3135 Peoples St. All registered runners get a free race T-shirt.

The course from The Wellness Center follows Knob Creek Road, Sunset Drive and then the paved greenbelt trail along North State of Franklin Road back to The Wellness Center.

Renfro has already gone through a round of radiation treatment and is scheduled for surgery on June 24. Following that, he’s scheduled for chemotherapy.

“I’ve always tried to be healthy and active, and I’ve played semi-pro football for 10 years,” he said. “This just knocked me flat on my tail. You think you’re in good shape and you’ve got things whipped, then something like this upsets the whole apple cart.

“But I want to thank my doctors for all the great care I’ve received.”

The race is looking for sponsors. There are different levels of sponsorship available, and any sponsorship money will go to help Renfro, via a special bank account set up at Mountain States Credit Union, called “Run for Ron 5K.”

Any proceeds from runner registration fees that the race clears beyond the cost of the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

“I’m honored that my co-workers and team members think enough of me to do this,” Renfro said. “It’s very humbling.”

“If you want to support Ron, you don’t even need to run,” Harkness said. “Run, walk or crawl, just come out. Participating is the big thing.”

For more information, call Steve Pastorek at The Wellness Center at 423-431-5542.



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