Whitesboro, N.Y. - September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and once again this year, the Mohawk Valley Chapter for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is doing its part to support the cause.
About 300 participated in the 3rd annual Whitesboro 5K Walk/Run to end Childhood Cancer on Saturday. 250 walked, 50 ran.
Nicole Spath, the Managing Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital here in New York State came over from Albany on Saturday to witness the effort in Whitesboro firsthand. Spath says the Whitesboro event is one of more than 60 taking place on this day across the country, "So we may be 300 strong from here, but across the nation there are thousands of people supporting childhood cancer awareness."
Heather Pezdek of Whitesboro says this is such a great cause, and such a great event to be a part of, "Cancer is an awful, awful disease and childhood cancer just really hits home. I have two kids of my own, and I teach, and it's just devastating to watch children go through cancer, so anything we can do to try to help get rid of this awful disease."
According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, more than 15,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S., and about a quarter of them will not survive the disease.
Jim Miner, Chairperson for the Mohawk Valley for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital says fighting for children is such a great cause and he says he was very moved when he went to St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis to see what it was like, "Tremendous, just tremendous. I've been to the hospital, I saw what it's all about, and it's a great feeling to do this."
Spath says she expects about $40,000 to be raised here in Whitesboro this year and she says it all goes to help children, "St. Jude, if you are a patient, you never receive a bill. So we cover your treatment, your travel your food and your housing because I always feel like a parent should worry about is helping their child live."
Spath says if you would like to donate to St. Jude, you can do so at www.stjude.org.