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Adventist employee runs to honor family who battle breast cancer
Bolingbrook resident will tackle grueling 50-mile run on Oct. 30 to raise money for Open Arms Breast Cancer Outreach Fund, a part of the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation.

Running to raise money for cancer treatment and awareness is not a new concept. But Joe Ventura is taking it to a new level. More to the point, he is taking it to a new distance.

Joe’s 50-Mile Run and Fall Family Fest takes place on Sunday, Oct. 30 at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien. The event benefits the Open Arms Breast Cancer Outreach Fund which is part of the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation and supports breast cancer patients and their families through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Ventura will begin running at 8 a.m. and the free Fall Family Fest takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. at Argonne Family Park in the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Runners of any skill and experience level are invited to run with Ventura, bike with him, or just cheer him on.

Running nearly twice the distance of a traditional marathon of 26.2 miles shouldn’t be a problem for Ventura. The 25-year-old Bolingbrook resident is an ultra-marathon runner who recently completed a grueling 100 miles in just 24 hours in South Bend, Indiana.

“I was pretty overwhelmed at what I had done, I surprised myself,” Ventura said. “I had done two 50-kilometer runs (50 kilometers is equal to about 32 miles) and three 50-mile runs. But this was the first time I did 100 miles. I felt OK for the first 16 hours. The last eight hours were rough.”

The idea for Joe’s 50-Mile Run took shape last year, when Ventura and his mother, Maureen, attended a cancer awareness event which featured a 12-hour run. They began comparing notes with staff at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and the idea for the Oct. 30 run was born. Maureen has worked at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital for 28 years and is currently the PACS administrator. (PACS stands for picture archiving and communication system.)

“I think what Joe is doing is fabulous,” Maureen said. “We’re very proud and excited. We will be thinking of the women in our family who had breast cancer, and the women who struggle with it every day.”
Ventura will be running in support of an aunt, Maureen’s sister, who is a breast cancer survivor, and in memory of his two great aunts who died of breast cancer.

Ventura’s accomplishments are even more surprising when you consider that he doesn’t have the luxury of training full-time. As serious as he is about running, it is only part of his busy life. Ventura works as a patient care technician in the emergency department of Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. He is also working toward his bachelor’s degree in nursing at Chamberlain College of Nursing in Addison.

Ventura began running track and cross country while attending Romeoville High School. But after graduation, he stopped running, gained weight, and started to smoke.

“After five years of not running, I got tired of living an unhealthy lifestyle,” Ventura said. “I decided to start running again, and at the end of the first year, I was able to run my first 50 miles. I plan to keep running as long as I can.”

Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit

Media contact: Sheila Galloro, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,; 630-856-2359.