More than 400 attend Sunday's Hike for Hospice

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Why walk or run for a cause, when you can hike? That's the theory behind Sunday's fifth annual Hike for Hospice event at Explore Park. It raises money for Good Samaritan Hospice's Bereavement Program.

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More than 400 people gathered to support hospice care. It's a cause that means a lot to people like Kelly Berry.

"I'm just celebrating being a survivor of cancer, Osteosarcoma," Berry said.

After Berry's own health scare with bone cancer, she knows how powerful it can be to have an extra support system backing you up and that's why she was hiking for hospice care Sunday.

"They offer support to all the families who need it and also, they are advocates for their patients," Berry said.

Hundreds of people like Berry went out for Sunday's event to support the Good Samaritan Hospice's Bereavement Program.

"It's just great to have people come out for a hospice event. Some people want to shy away from that word, but people come out here and they hike, they eat, they listen to the music, and they see our vendors, and it's just a way to celebrate life," Suzanne Ranson, the former CEO of Good Samaritan Hospice, said.

Ranson helped found the Good Sam organization. She had several family members go through hospice care.

"We started Good Sam to give people what they asked for, what they wanted at the end of life, which was dignity and comfort and respect, mostly at home," Ranson said.

Proceeds from the hike go to Good Sam.

"Hiking just gives you this vision of movement, and joy, and it's outdoors, and it's all about life," Ranson added.

There was a mile and a half hike down to the event, where participants enjoyed a catered barbecue lunch and listened to a bluegrass band, and some even got their faces painted.

Ranson said, "Some are our volunteers and they come out to say this is important, this is meaningful to us, we want hospice to be apart of our lives, we want hospice to be apart of our community."

Organizers say this event was a success, and they're already looking forward to next year's Hike for Hospice.

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