HASTINGS, Neb. — Two events designed to benefit cancer patients are teaming up in central Nebraska.

The annual Cancer Walk organized by the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation and the annual Butterfly Release organized by the Grace Cancer Foundation are now part of the same event in Hastings. 

Chief Development Director Susan Meeske says money raised for the Mary Lanning Foundation patient fund plays a critical role. It can help patients to focus on their treatment instead of finances.

“Certainly cancer is a serious diagnosis, and so I think having that financial burden over the top of it can be a real hardship,” Meeske said.

It costs $25 to participate in the one-mile cancer walk but is free for cancer patients and survivors. The event starts at 5:30 Thursday evening at the Lynn Farrell Arena parking lot at Hastings College. 

Beyond the money raised, it’s designed to provide emotional support.

“One of the things we want to do is just show our overwhelming support for people facing cancer, not only for the patient but also for their families,” Meeske said.

There will be hundreds of butterflies provided before the walk starts. Meeske says the release is symbolic of rebirth and new beginnings.

“So if you have a little positive energy and a lawn chair and you want to come out and share some of that support, I know our patients would appreciate it,” Meeske said.

You can register online or in person.