Jog for Jill returns to campus for fourth year

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James Hall/Courtesy

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The fourth annual UC Berkeley Jog for Jill took place on campus this past Sunday.
The event raised more than $60,000 for lung cancer research and attracted more than 1,100 participants, many of whom were new college students, according to Sheila Von Driska, executive director of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, the organization that puts on the event every year.

The jog, which has taken place on many different college campuses each year since its inception, is held in honor of Jill Costello, a former UC Berkeley student-athlete.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see so many out there running,” said Mary Costello, Jill’s mother. “This cause was very dear to my daughter’s heart.”

Jill was diagnosed with lung cancer during college and became an avid proponent of lung cancer research. She started the jog for lung cancer tradition on the Berkeley campus in 2010 with friend and UC Berkeley graduate Darby Anderson, who continued the event after Costello passed away.

“Jill and I realized that there wasn’t anything anywhere close to us that had anything to do with lung cancer,” Anderson said. “It ended up being so much bigger than we thought. It was unbelievable.”

Anderson organized the first official Jog for Jill in September of 2010, and the event rapidly expanded in the following years.

“I am continuously blown away by how motivated and inspired so many college students are by Jill’s story,” she said.

According to Mary, seeing her daughter’s dream continued without her is “bittersweet,” but Jill’s family is incredibly happy that her message has extended so far.

“I always told Jill that she was a little pebble in the pond and that (her) ripples were getting bigger and bigger and would eventually reach a cure,” Costello said. “We’re so grateful that so many people are continuing her mission.”

Contact Claire Chiara at [email protected].