If you enjoy completing fitness events and contributing to a worthy cause, here’s an event for you.

The Gift of Life’s Fourth Annual 5k Walk for Life will be held at Florida Atlantic University on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8:30 a.m. The walk benefits the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, a charity started in Boca Raton some 20 years ago.

Registration is $25 online or $30 day of the event. There will be food, music, drawings for prizes and a kids’ area.

The Walk for Life in Boca Raton aims to raise local awareness about the Boca Raton-based Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation and the need to increase the worldwide bone marrow registry with ethnically diverse donors. Proceeds from this walk will go towards adding new donors to the registry.

This event is far more than a 5K walk/run, says Marti Freund, Gift of Life walk coordinator.

“During the welcome ceremony … every year, we introduce a transplant recipient to their donor for the very first time,” Freund says.

People attending the can also register during the Feb. 9 event to become donors.

Freund says the first part of becoming part of the registry is to have your cheek swabbed. If selected for the registry from the swab, potential donors are then asked to give blood to confirm a match.

Once the match is confirmed, donors go through a physical, health history and blood work; then, eligible donors can save a life through a blood stem cell or bone marrow donation.

“We never charge a fee for anybody interested in joining the registry,” says Freund. “However, there is a $60 laboratory fee that is associated with testing each kit. All the money we raise go towards offsetting these laboratory costs, so we can send in kits from drives that we do throughout the year.”

Those who aren’t participating in the 5K can get their cheek swabbed and join the registry.

For more about the charity, go to www.giftoflife.org.

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About Lisette
Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on www.wordscomealive.com.