Fitness for a cause

The BCM BeWell program offers opportunities for benefits-eligible employees to improve their health and well-being while also supporting important charity initiatives.

This is made possible through the BeWell Charity Challenge, a collaboration with the Reason2Race and the Run Houston! race series that allows employees to raise funds for a cause of their choice through involvement in running (or walking!) events.

“We think this a great collaboration since it benefits the health of our own employees as well as the community,” said Jesse Gavin, BCM BeWell coordinator. “We’ve had several employees take advantage of this program, and encourage even more to get involved.”

Participating is easy. Just sign up for a BeWell Charity Challenge event, set up a donation page and then share your page – and your reason to race – with family, friends and colleagues. The Reason2Race website lists numerous organizations to support, but additional nonprofit organizations can be added.

Upcoming BeWell Charity Challenge events are the Run Houston event on Sunday, Sept. 24, at the University of Houston, and on Saturday, Dec. 2, in Sugar Land.

Lainey Balhoff, who works in the Office of Information Technology, is one Baylor employee who has participated, supporting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, an organization that is close to her heart. She shared her story on the fundraising page she created for the Run Houston event April 1 at Minute Maid Park:

“Some of my fondest memories of growing up are of the summers I spent in Amarillo with my grandparents, Mary Martha Oles and Pat Oles. I cherish all of the time we spent together, but remain deeply saddened that we lost my grandfather to pancreatic cancer in 2013. Until I saw it firsthand, I had no idea how aggressive the disease was. I remain troubled by the fact that there is no early detection method for this devastating illness – most patients are diagnosed in the late stages and treatment options are limited. Even more troubling – pancreatic cancer has surpassed breast cancer and is now the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., but continues to lag behind in awareness and fundraising.”

Balhoff raised more than $3,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network through the BeWell Charity Challenge collaboration with Reason2Race, surpassing her goal of $2,000. She was the top fundraiser at the event at Minute Maid Park and won a first-place prize of $800 for her charity.

Other employees who have participated include Amanda West, IT, Susan Ford, IT, Sophia Costilla, pediatrics, and members of the BeWell team.

Participants receive fund raising tips from Reason2Race, a T-shirt and can earn BCM BeWell Vitality points. But the best reason to get involved is the focus on personal health and the chance to raise awareness and funds for important causes!

Learn more online.