Tampa Bay Runners Gearing Up to Cross Out Cancer

On November 16, a group of Tampa Bay cross country athletes are gearing up to change the world in the best way they know how to -- by running.

Their mission? Cross out cancer.

A group of ten local high schools in the Tampa Bay Area have dedicated time and efforts to raising financial relief for pediatric cancer patients and families at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg by directing the Cross Out Cancer 5k.

Lizzie Dolan, former Academy of Holy Names cross country athlete, founded the non-profit after working as a counselor at Seattle's Camp Agape, a week designed to provide community and help for families who have children with cancer. Dolan knew that her experience at Camp Agape could not go without action.

So, she enlisted a community of cross country athletes around the Tampa area to help her Cross out Cancer.

Now in it's fifth year, and with Dolan leading from afar while pursuing her degree at Yale, Dolan has entrusted former teammates to help lead a team of students.

"I was a freshman when Lizzie founded Cross Out Cancer and it's been exciting to work on this project this year," Cross Out Cancer Executive Director, Megan Hughes said.

Hughes finished sixth this weekend at the FHSAA 2A Cross Country State Finals and has recently committed to run for Notre Dame come 2020, but aside from her success in on the cross country course and in the classroom, she's been focused on leading a team to do all that they can for families battling pediatric cancer.

On her all-star executive board, Hughes is joined by the likes of Sean Doherty and Danny O'Leary of Jesuit High School, Alix Rubin of Plan, and Grace Odmark of Holy Names.

They are looking to get more athletes from all over the state involved in the effort.

"We've found that it is a great way for cross country teams to bond after the official season has ended," Hughes said.

As Cross Out Cancer celebrates their fifth year, registration remains open for the 5k that will kick off on Saturday November 16 at 9 am and volunteers are more than welcome and can receive service hours for any service club or organization whether you are volunteering or racing.

More Coverage: