PARSIPPANY — On Tuesday, September 22, over 30 members of the Eastlake staff participated in the Damon Runyon Virtual 5k for Cancer Research around the grounds of the school. Usually held annually at Yankee Stadium, the event is being held virtually this year between August 24 and October 4.
Fourth-grade teacher, Tracy Carroll, has been participating in the event for the past eleven years in memory of her father who passed away from cancer in 2008. Her team, Team Rhino, is comprised of over 60 friends and family members making them the largest team participating in the run. Throughout their years of participation, the team has raised $30,607 for the foundation.
The event raises money for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation to fund the research being performed by scientists on how to best prevent, diagnose, and treat all forms of cancer. Carroll became involved in the event in 2010 shortly after losing her dad to esophageal cancer. “As the first Father’s Day approached after losing my dad, I knew I needed to find a way to channel my sadness and anger into something positive, something that would make a difference. As I read more about the Runyon 5k, I was thrilled to see that 100% of the money raised went directly to the research being done rather than to overhead or administrative costs. That seems to be very rare in an event of this type,” Carroll explained.
Carroll has been very touched by the eagerness of so many of her colleagues to support the cancer research event. ‘This is an unprecedented time in education right now and I know how extremely busy everyone is,” she explained. ‘The fact that, despite their workload and hectic schedules, so many members of our faculty made the time to participate in and donate to this event speaks to what an amazingly caring and supportive staff we have here at Eastlake.’
Eastlake Principal Sebastian Powell said, ‘It is great to see the Eastlake Staff unite behind a cause that has affected all of us to some degree in one way or another.” One of those greatly impacted by the cause is a fifth-grade teacher and cancer survivor, Lucia Innocent. Although she had participated in the event with Carroll prior, it became far more personal for her following her 2019 breast cancer diagnosis. Innocent expressed, ‘What this journey has taught me is that no one fights cancer alone! Coming together each year for this cause truly demonstrates fighting this fight together! Every day we get closer to finding a cure, and it’s an event like the Runyon 5K that makes it possible!!’
Registration for the event is open until October 4 and donations will continue to be collected until December 10 by clicking here.