Adding Meaning to Their Miles: Fred’s Team Takes the TCS New York City Marathon


More than 50,000 runners traversed 26.2 miles across five boroughs for the TCS New York City Marathon. Among them were 925 participants who ran in support of Fred’s Team. Fred’s Team is the running program for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), which is dedicated to moving closer to a world without cancer.

Fred’s Team members compete in athletic events worldwide and have raised more than $80 million to support MSK cancer research. The group was named in honor of running legend and co-founder of the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow.  In 1991, while he was being treated for brain cancer at MSK, he jogged through hospital hallways, determined to find a way to raise money for a cure. That year, Fred encouraged runners competing in the marathon to raise money for each mile they ran, and designated MSK its first official charity.

Since the start of Fred’s Team, runners have participated in races worldwide to raise money, putting on their iconic orange Fred’s Team uniforms and taking part in 5Ks, half-marathons, marathons, triathlons and climbs – all while adding meaning to their miles.

Dr. Marcel van den Brink, Medical Oncologist and Head of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies, has been running with the team since 2005, and said this of the event and its impact:

“I can say firsthand that Fred’s Team funding benefits our research. Every year Fred’s Team distributes funds to our service chiefs so they can decide how to allocate it within their groups. Fred’s Team provides critical money for a variety of programs. For example, investigator-initiated trials are especially difficult to fund. These studies come about because of an idea by one researcher or a group of researchers. With funding from Fred’s Team, we can start these studies and see them through. MSK is really in a unique position among major academic centers and other cancer centers to benefit from an amazing fundraising effort like Fred’s Team. MSK is devoted to translating basic scientific discoveries into therapies that benefit people with cancer. When it comes to research, everyone here is asking the same questions about any new idea or finding: How is this relevant to cancer? And how can we bring it to the clinic to benefit patients? We have the talent and mind-set at MSK to develop novel therapies.”

Collectively, Fred’s Team raised more than $5.3 million for cancer research this year. Congratulations to the runners, donors and supporters for reaching this meaningful milestone.