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Medics hosting 5K for mission to Honduras

Chris Fortenberry knew as soon as she arrived in Honduras she’d be back as soon as she could.

No running water, trash everywhere and seeing people in need made her start planning for her return trip before she left.

“I knew, instantly,” she said. “You get down there and these people have nothing. They don’t even have running water. People walk more than a mile just to get a bucket of water.”

Fortenberry, a nurse anesthetist who lives in Brookhaven, made her first trip to Honduras in June as part of a medical mission team. She was one of about 42 people who traveled to Guaimaca to administer medical care to people who cannot afford it. Half of the group came from Brookhaven, which included a mix of medical professionals from King’s Daughters Medical Center. The team performed 75 surgeries during its seven-day stay, she said.

The group is raising money for the next mission trip in May by hosting the Hope Heals 5K and Fun Run Saturday. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in front of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.

It costs each person between $1,300 to $1,500 to be part of the team that goes on the mission. Fundraisers help with expenses, she said. Besides air fare and costs for room and board, the team purchases any medical supplies that aren’t already donated. They also present a love offering to the missionaries who work there full time.

The 5K run/walk begins at 8 a.m. with a 1-mile fun run that starts at 9 a.m.

Registration on Saturday is an additional $5 so the 5K will cost $30 and the fun run is $15.

Fortenberry said T-shirts are not guaranteed for those who register between now and Saturday and only a limited number of sizes will be available.

Besides the race, the mission team will also be selling soup at the Brookhaven Christmas parade as well as hosting a cake auction and selling T-shirts to raise funds.

To register before Saturday, call 601-695-1318. Payment can be accepted through Paypal.