"So why have I worn "orange" all of these years? I truly believe that every mile will help save a patient."
My story began in 1991, the year Fred Lebow designated Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center the first official charity of the New York City Marathon! That year I raised $250 for cancer research at MSKCC, ran the greatest marathon in the world, and began a mission that has changed my life.
Actually, the plan truly started in 1978 when my younger brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer — I was devastated. I learned the difficult lesson that cancer and its treatments cause physical and emotional pain to patients, and to all who know and love them.
But at MSKCC, I also experienced the miracle of research. Cisplatin was just made available, and although my brother suffered through this chemo protocol, his cancer was CURED! My sister, brother and parents also have courageously tried to beat cancer. We lost them, but through continued advances in research, another brother and my nephew are cancer survivors.
Professionally, I went on to have a career as an oncology nurse. I have been blessed to form friendships with many patients and their families during my time as a caregiver.
So why have I worn "orange" all of these years? I truly believe that every mile will help save a patient. I've run the Marathon alongside a friend who is living proof: he survived cancer with the help of MSKCC treatments. Fred's Team gives us all hope for a "world without cancer."
As I celebrate my 65th birthday this year, I am looking forward to raising more lifesaving funds, and running my 21st New York City Marathon!