March 20, 2012
BERKELEY - The skies may have been gray on Sunday, March 11, but smiles lit up Lower Sproul Plaza and the Berkeley campus as Cal student-athletes, coaches, staffers and a tremendous showing of community members participated in the third annual Jog for Jill.
Jill's Legacy and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation hosted the third annual 5K in Berkeley in honor of Jill Costello, a coxswain on the Cal women's crew who passed away from lung cancer on June 24, 2010.
"It really was a privilege and an honor for our team to participate in it and help carry on Jilly's legacy," rugby's Zack Klaas said. "She was such a fighter with tremendous spirit, and she will always be an inspiration to our rugby program. The 5K run and all its participants were a great reminder of how strong our community is here at Berkeley, and our team was honored to be a part of it. I'm looking forward to participating in Jog for Jill for many years to come."
Thanks to the generosity, overwhelming support and commitment to honor Jill's work towards the end of her life, this year's fun run was by far the biggest Jog for Jill in Berkeley history. The March 11 event raised almost $65,000 and had 1,500 participants.
"It was really nice to see the Cal community, and specifically the athletic community come out and support such an amazing person," lacrosse's Amelia Burke said. "Jill continues to inspire my teammates and I to savor our time here as student-athletes."
After being diagnosed with lung cancer on June 6, 2009, despite never having smoked, Costello became involved with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF), which promotes lung cancer awareness and raises funds to find a cure.
"Jog for Jill was an amazing experience for the athlete community to come together in order to fight for a cause in the name of one of our fellow student-athletes," lacrosse student-athlete Megan Takacs said. "Jill's legacy definitely still lives on here at Cal. Her fight and positive attitude while battling cancer is still an inspiration for the Cal student-athlete family today."
Costello helped raise $50,000 for lung cancer research and rallied 1,000 people for the initial Jog for Jill event that took place on Feb. 7, 2010. Per Costello's request, there will be an annual Jog for Jill event held every spring.
"I participated in the Jog because I knew that my money was funding research for a very important cause," women's soccer's Emily Kruger said. "The actual jog was a great way to get together with all of the other contributers in solidarity with Jill to represesent the student-athlete community."
Costello's story and commitment to "getting the word out there, big time," and finding a cure for lung cancer - which takes more people than breast, prostrate, colon, liver, melanoma and kidney cancers combined - sparked Jog for Jills all over the country.
Throughout her exhausting cancer treatments, Costello remained an active member on the rowing team through the 2010 season, coxing the varsity 8+ to a Pac-10 Championship and helping the Golden Bears finish second overall at the NCAA Championships. The 2010 Pac-10 Athlete of the Year, Costello graduated May of 2010 with a degree in political economy and was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic second team. She accomplished all of this while undergoing 22 chemotherapy sessions and 14 days of radiation treatments.
For more information on lung cancer, to the find out when the next Jog for Jill is and to donate to the BJALCF, please click here.
Lung Cancer Facts: