Archived Story

Caskeys set to ‘joggle’ at Steve’s Run

Published 8:33pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Steve’s Run this year will hold special significance for Kay Caskey, her son, Michael, and other members of her family when they participate in the 36th annual run/walk July 31.

Steve’s Run” is named in memory of Steven Briegel, a Southwestern Michigan College honors graduate who lost his fight against cancer in 1990. The run previously was known as the Original Road and Trail Race.

“My son Michael and I are running as a mother-son joggling team,” said Caskey of Decatur, Mich. “Michael’s wife, Tijana Jovanovic, died Feb. 1, 2010 from a brain tumor (glioblastoma).”

It was a little more than a year ago on Memorial Day when Jovanovic was diagnosed. Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive type of cancerous brain tumor in humans and the prognosis is poor for recovery. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy died from the same form of brain cancer.

“She was only 32 years old and so full of life,” said Caskey of Jovanovic who was from Serbia. “She was creative, funny, and spoke four languages. She even understood jokes in English. She had a major in art history and worked in a gallery in Chicago.”

All funds raised from the run, including 100 percent of the pledge monies, are donated to the Southwestern Michigan College Steven Briegel Scholarship Fund and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Research Fund.

“Although medical science has made significant progress in treating other cancers, the life expectancy of a person diagnosed with glioblastoma remains at 12 to 14 months — the same as it was a century ago,” Caskey said. “Brain cancer needs so much money for research and I’m so glad the money goes to Mayo.”

Caskey and Laurie Young, who is also running in Steve’s Run, are co-owners and creators of Laughter Works since 1986. Laughter Works provides workshops on health and humor, stress management, positive attitude, and juggling. It is the juggling that Caskey, Young, Michael and Caskey’s other son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Cori will do while running the 5K.

“We call it joggling,” Caskey said. “It’s running while juggling. Joggling makes people smile.”

Caskey will be gathering pledges for the run as well as placing four Fire Up signs which pay tribute to Jovanovic. One of the signs will be written in Serbian with the message, ‘We miss you.’

The signs will be posted along the 5K and 10K route.

The race start time is 9 a.m. in downtown Dowagiac. A 1K fun run begins at 9:03 a.m.

Participants will compete in the 10K run, 5K run and 5K walk, along city streets, the Elk’s golf course and Riverside Cemetery.

Runners participating in the 10K will head off into the trails of Southwestern Michigan College and across the Dowagiac campus before heading back into the city.

Entry information, online registration and Fire Up signs can be found at www.sw-mich.edu/fireup/stevesrun or by calling Southwestern Michigan College at 782-1209.

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