Memorial Sloan Kettering’s third annual Rock & Run on the River 5K run/walk and cancer survivorship celebration drew more than 5,000 runners, walkers, survivors, and supporters to Hudson River Park’s Pier 84 on the morning of June 7 to raise money for Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Cancer Survivorship Program.
“Rock & Run was a wonderful way to support and honor survivors,” said Mary S. McCabe, director of the program, which addresses the long-term challenges of life after treatment for cancer. “The turnout was overwhelming, from Memorial Sloan Kettering staff, survivors, and their families to enthusiastic supporters from all over the tri-state area.”
By the morning of the celebration, Rock & Run had already generated more than $500,000 in contributions through individual and team fundraising campaigns using the event’s Web site. Fundraising continued throughout the summer.
Ms. McCabe noted that the festive mood was enhanced by beautiful weather that day, a stroke of good fortune during a month of persistent rain in the region. “It was a spectacular day and an exciting experience — an event that brought so many people together to share their emotions and their hope for the future,” she said.
Dan Abrams, chief legal analyst for NBC News, served as host of the celebration that followed the family-friendly 5K run/walk. Highlights included brunch, live music, children’s activities, massage therapy, fitness classes, and a private area for survivors. The event T-shirt was created by fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo.
“I’ve run several marathons,” said Steve Olsen, a participant and cancer survivor, “but I felt more accomplished finishing Rock & Run than I did for any of the many races I’ve run. It brought me so much joy to do something that I love to benefit survivorship programs at the hospital that took such good care of me.”