CBTFF Team Moves Us at the 2018 TCSNYC Marathon
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
On Sunday November 4th five members of the CBTFF TCS New York City Marathon team were among the more than 50,000 runners who were challenged, pushed and ultimately rewarded with the incredible feeling of crossing the finish line after completing all 26.2 miles.
Because the marathon will move you.
It's an emotional event, whether you are cheering someone who is undertaking this feat of endurance, admiring the professional athletes who make it look easy, in awe of those who don't let physical challenges get in the way or if you are, like us, inspired by those that use the opportunity to fund-raise for a cause near and dear to them.
This year we had five runners who not only took on the challenge of running 26.2 miles in honor or support of children who's lives have been impacted by inoperable pediatric brain tumors. They also used this opportunity to raise critical funds needed to support the research being done at the Children's Brain Tumor Project.
Not only did we have three women on the team who supported the cause, but the doctors who lead the Children's Brain Tumor Project also ran!
Our team raised more than $60,000 for the Children's Brain Tumor Project and 100% of the monies raised will be used to offset the cost of the research being done in this lab under the direction of two of our runners, Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield and Dr. Mark Souweidane.
It was Dr. Souweidane's first marathon, and in a congratulatory note written to him on Facebook he replied that it was "A tremendous team effort by all who want better for our children. It was inspirational...and easy compared with parents who are forced to guide their children through cancer therapy."
Both Doctor's wore shirts with the names of the children that inspire them daily and who's strength in the face of their greatest challenge fueled them throughout the race.
In addition to Dr. Greenfield and Dr. Souweidane, our team included Lynn Hynes who dedicated her race to "Miles of Hope" and missed her PR by just 4 minutes on race day but surpassed her fundraising goal by a mile! You can read her story here.
Before the event Lynn said "To be able to run with purpose for those little angels both here and in heaven, I have never felt more focused. This has nothing to do with me but everything to do with fighting for them." and post event she wrote "I missed my PR by 4 minutes but this one will forever be the most important of my running career! The marathon may be over but my support is not!"
Thank you so much Lynn!
Last but not least, our runners included Julie Lichty Balay and Leigh Ann Cotter who were both running under the moniker "Chase-ing the Cure" in honor of Chase Balay, who is Julie's son and Leigh Ann's nephew. Chase died on April 30, 2017 just 15 months after being diagnosed with a Gliamotis Cerebri. Together, these two women raised more than $15,000 to help fund the research being done at the Children's Brain Tumor Project.
There are no better words to move you and explain what has moved all of us at the CBTFF than the words used on Julie's fundraising page to explain why she and her sister-in-law dedicated their race to this cause and why they work so hard to support the research.
We were told at diagnosis that barring a miracle Chase would be dead in 1-2 years. That there was not one treatment which had effectively killed this tumor ever, even though it was named 100 years ago. My son died because there has been little progress in treating pediatric brain tumors in the last 40 years. The treatments today are largely the same, and there are currently zero drugs specifically designed for pediatric brain tumors. Thus, small children have their developing brains blasted with radiation and take harsh drugs designed for adults.
Brain cancer is the leading cause of pediatric cancer deaths, and now takes almost one third of the precious children stolen by cancer. The children who are fortunate to survive are often left with permanent damage and are at high risk for secondary cancers as a result of our barbaric treatments. Sadly, our government allocates only 4% of public funds to research ALL pediatric cancers, so the onus is on us-the families-to fund-raise to help find gentler treatments that might offer some hope-and ideally a CURE.
Chase gave the most generous gift of his brain and spine to the lab at Weill Cornell, where his neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield and his colleagues spend their days researching for the cure. Chase’s cell line has been immortalized there, and continues to educate these dedicated scientists about how this evil tumor works.
The CBTFF was formed by families affected by pediatric brain tumors to fund raise specifically for this lab and their efforts. All money is directed to them to find a way to use precision medicine and immunotherapy to eradicate inoperable pediatric brain tumors. Please help me help them find the missing puzzle piece, so that no more kids have to suffer and be stolen from their families. Please honor my Chase by giving what you can. Help his life save many.
To our entire team of 2018 NYC marathon runners from all of us at the Children's Brain Tumor Family Foundation we can't say congratulations or thank you enough times. You have moved all of us! Board Members Brenda Ries and Jennifer Clayton were honored to witness your accomplishment!