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Lately, it seems cancer is everywhere – in books, movies, a slew of fundraisers like this one, and most terrifyingly people’s lives. My personal reason to raise money for lung cancer research is because 4 and a half years ago, a close family friend was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. The 5 year survival rate for this cancer is 1% with a median survival rate of 8 months after diagnosis (cancer.org), but she is not the kind of person to accept and be complacent with a deathly prognosis. She’s fighting because she has to, but most importantly she has spent her time trying to live, and enjoy her life, friends, and family. She's functioning on one working lung, but that didn't stop her from going to work in Manhattan every single day she was able tp.
I’ve known her since I was six, long enough to understand that this woman could never be reduced to a grim statistic, but her mortality scared me. Being a bit of a control freak, I desliked feelineg helpless, particularly before tiny multiplying cells, and I know the best way I could thank her for what she has given to me is by helping people in her situation. This woman is a patient at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and has highly recommended this hospital as an organization truly worth donating to. Read more about MSKCC here.
We hope to continue this 5k as a yearly tradition and our team will support this person as she continues her battle. And while her health condition continues to deteriorate, it is truly only because of Memorial Sloan Kettering and Dr. Paik that she has beat the odds thus far. As an avid runner, organizing a 5k made sense, particularly because running so heavily relies on functioning lungs. So in 2014, when I was 13 years old, I became a first-time race director. Learn how we did it and the origins of our name here.