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Heat, humidity fail to deter KB Tough Runners

Ninety-one runners took part in the 2019 KB Tough Run on June 29 at the White Pines Ranch, west of Oregon.

Runners battled hilly terrain, hot temperatures, and high humidity to raise money for area residents facing medical challenges and rising costs.

Carson Andrew won the 5K in 18 minutes and 41 seconds.

The KB Tough Run is the major fundraising event for the KB Fund that was established to help those in the community who are burdened by a medical crisis.

More than 70 families have been helped by the KB Fund since its formation. Their needs have ranged from expenses related to cancer treatments, chronic illness, accident recovery, special needs therapy, premature births and more.

The KB Tough Run was initially started in 2012 by April Roos, a young Oregon woman who was diagnosed with cancer.

April died June 6, 2018 at age 37, just a few weeks shy of the fundraiser she spearheaded.

The event takes its name from a pep talk April’s dad, Gary French, also of Oregon, used to whip up team spirit for April’s youth softball team he coached, goading the girls during the huddle to “kick butt.”

After a parent raised some concerns over the catchphrase, the team shortened it to KB.

Years later, when April went up against a tougher opponent than she ever faced on the field, she decided to take her dad’s advice and was determined to kick cancer’s butt.

April celebrated being cancer-free in 2013, but the disease returned. Then in 2015, the disease went into remission and there was no evidence of it during PET scans.

But then her roller coaster ride with cancer took a turn for the worse in 2017 when the disease returned and she started undergoing chemotherapy again.

Through it all, she was determined to pay it forward by helping raise money for the KB Fund.