KIDS, FAMILIES, & MARATHONERS RACE TO BEAT PEDIATRIC CANCER
On Sunday, September 9, Eisenhower Park welcomed more than 450 walkers and runners of all ages who participated in Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids (CCFK) Annual 5K Walk/Run, raising vital funds for the Center and celebrating September as Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
Barbara Sheilds, Project Coordinator at Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids, Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Winthrop and Director of Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids, and Cathy Shimmel, Nurse Manager at Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids, at Winthrop-University Hospital’s Cancer Center for Kids (CCFK) Annual 5K Walk/Run.
“I’m running so these kids can lead normal, healthy lives,” said one 5K registrant as he picked up his chip and running bib. He was joined by teams from major event co-sponsors Super Enterprises and Rafferty Holdings, LLC, along with teams honoring patients in-treatment, survivors, and special in-memory groups. Thanks to their participation, and with the help of countless community volunteers, the event raised more than $30,000 for the Center’s psychosocial programs including Child Life, Creative Arts Therapy, Social Work, and Child Psychology.
In addition to the 5K race, the morning overflowed with sunshine, refreshments, raffle prizes, and a fun zone for kids. Entertainment was provided by Center Music Therapist Glenn Schifano and His Boy Elroy Band. The inspirational award presentation and closing ceremonies were co-emceed by special guest CBS Radio personality Sophia Hall and CCFK Pediatric Development Manager Linda Sweeney, who announced that the funds raised at the event ensured the Center’s ongoing therapeutic services.
“In the United States, 36 children are diagnosed with cancer every day,” said Ms. Sweeney. This race is a metaphor for the spirit and endurance of our kids and their families. The struggle they face isn’t easy. Having you all here today is helping them – and us – win the battle.”
Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Winthrop and Director of the CCFK, echoed Ms. Sweeney’s sentiments, expressing gratitude to participants for ensuring “a brighter tomorrow for some very special children.”
The Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop-University Hospital is Nassau County’s largest outpatient facility for treating pediatric cancer and blood disorders. For more information about the Center, call 516-663-9400, or visit its website www.winthrop.org/cck. # # #