Fuel to Fight Cancer 5K Raises $20K to Support Forrest General Cancer Center Patients

Published 12:21 pm Monday, November 14, 2022

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (November 14, 2022) More than 200 participants in the inaugural Forrest General Cancer Center Fuel to Fight Cancer 5K didn’t let a little, or a lot, of rain stop their forward progress. The race, which started at the Cancer Center, wound its way through the streets of the Thames Elementary School neighborhood before making its way back to the race start.

The 5K, held on November 5, raised $20,000 which will be used to support the travel needs of cancer patients as they travel to and from the Hattiesburg facility for treatments. These frequent trips often create both a financial and logistical burden for the patients and their families.

The race included runners of all ages. The top male finisher was Jacob Plocher with a time of 15:46. Michelle Mims was the top female with a time of 23:49. Race times for other runners can be accessed by going to https://www.racesplitter.com/races/DE72D96CC.

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A fun run for kids looped through the Cancer Center’s Bill and Becky Oliver Healing Garden prior to the start of the race and was led by a friendly dinosaur, Claire, wearing a pink tutu and race number 001.

Cancer Center Radiation Oncologist, Sophy Mangana, MD, was in attendance with her children who sported T-shirts that read, “My mommy cures cancer.”

“Our inaugural race was highly successful, and we appreciate those who participated,” said Shannon Vega, director of Radiology. “This race wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Forrest General Hospital administration who heard the need of our patients and supported this endeavor. We are humbled with the support of our staff, patients, sponsors, families, and community who all came together as a team on Saturday morning to fight cancer. Not even the rain could stop our runners and volunteers’ perseverance.”

Vega thanked the Forrest General Hospital Spirit Girls who cheered participants on as well as the Pine Belt Pacers, MS Coffee runners, PPRF, H.A.R.E.S., and all the area running groups for supporting the event. Thank you to the Forrest General Foundation for their support as well as Cancer Center staff, Kecia Jones, Anna Harrison, and Ramona Martin, who assisted in organizing the event.

“We will continue to Fuel to Fight Cancer one mile at a time!” said Vega.

To make a donation to the Cancer Center Travel Fund, visit the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation website, and select Cancer Center Travel Fund in the dropdown, or mail a check to PO Box 19010, Hattiesburg, MS 39404, and note “Cancer Center Travel Fund.”

Thanks to the race sponsors who included:


  • Cancer Care of Hattiesburg
  • Bill & Becky Oliver
  • Comprehensive Radiology
  • Howard Industries
  • Forrest County Board of Supervisors
  • Kohler
  • Mississippi Power
  • Trent & Danielle Woods
  • Myriad Genetics
  • IsoAid


  • Aetna
  • Jeremiah & Michelle Rayner
  • Wayne Sanderson Farms
  • Diversified CPC International
  • Midtown Dental Clinic
  • Excel injection Molding
  • Guideway Care
  • United Rentals
  • Tolmar


  • The All-Star Team of Realtors
  • Cooperative Energy
  • F3 Strength & Conditioning
  • State Farm: Lance Ware
  • Dixie Electric
  • Daniel Hatton
  • Hattiesburg Medical Supply


  • Little Caesar’s Pizza
  • Miskelly Furniture
  • Marie Farve
  • Gerald & Annette Townsend (Check from Ramona)
  • Patrick Fried
  • Java Moe’s

Door Prizes

  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Lowe’s of Petal
  • The Dapper Wolf
  • Vibe Clothing Company
  • PuraVita
  • LB Fitness
  • Betsy’s on Magnolia
  • Cow & Coop’s

Overall Male & Female Award Sponsor

  • Dr. Neil Solomon

Food & Beverage Sponsors

  • Coca-Cola
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Corner Market Midtown
  • Hattiesburg Medical Supply
  • Utz
  • Java Moe’s
  • Smoothie King