The 11th annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Race for Research: Tri-State 5K Walk/Run at New Canaan High School June 8 raised more than $325,000 for cancer research, thanks to more than 1,250 participants.
"I am always so impressed by the incredible support that this event receives from the local community and from myeloma patients, their family members and their friends in the tri-state area," Kathy Giusti, of New Canaan, founder and CEO of the MMRF, said. "This has always been an important fundraising event for the MMRF and I am forever grateful for the commitment of my hometown in raising this much-needed awareness and money to help the MMRF continue its work in fast-tracking cures for myeloma and other cancers."
At this year's race, the foundation honored Mark Herzlich, a linebacker for the New York Giants and a bone cancer survivor, with the MMRF Courage and Commitment Award.
After his diagnosis of a rare bone cancer in 2009, Herzlich was told he would never play football again, and that his odds of survival were as low as 10 percent, according to the MMRF. Two years later, he went on to conquer cancer and was a member of the Super Bowl XLVI championship Giants team.
In addition to sharing his story at the event, he signed hundreds of copies of his new book, "What it Takes: Fighting for My Life and My Love of the Game."
"As a cancer survivor, I am truly humbled to be recognized by the MMRF -- an organization that is revolutionizing cancer research," Herzlich said. "Thanks to the MMRF, researchers, scientists and the cancer community at large are sharing more research and helping to break down some of the barriers that have held back progress in finding cures. The MMRF is an inspiration to me because they never give up. I never gave up and that's why I'm here today."
Lou Marinelli, head coach of the NCHS varsity football team, united his team to launch a New Canaan Rams Football group for the MMRF event in 2010 after several families of team members were affected by multiple myeloma. NCHS Football increased its support in 2012 by adopting the MMRF as the team's official charity beneficiary. More than 75 members of the Rams Football community participated in the 2014 MMRF race and had the opportunity to meet Herzlich.
For information, visit www.themmrf.org.