PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Forget the 5K or even a marathon, three men are running thousands of miles, all across the country.
Today, the team Miles 2 Give made a stop here in the Pittsburgh area.
Their journey has taken them 3,000 miles, through several states and countless towns.
Landon Cooper, Ryan Priest, and John McKay are running for a reason. They’re raising awareness and money for sarcoma, known as the forgotten cancer.
“If you look at the totem pole of funding for all cancers, you go from lung to breast, colon. Sarcoma cancer is at the very bottom and because it’s so rare, it needs more research,” Cooper said.
Sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in connective tissues, like fat, bone or muscle.
The guys’ mission hits close to home at the Hillman Cancer Center, especially for Lizzy Doods, 18, of East McKeesport.
In July 2011, she was diagnosed with ortho sarcoma. It’s been a battle, but she is now one year in remission.
“It’s just so hard to go through. So, to know there are guys out there who really care enough to just take the time to run that long just for us, it’s awesome,” Doods said.
Doods signed her name to the ceiling of the runners’ RV, her signature next to other cancer survivors and people the guys have met along their journey.
Bill Suit, currently battling sarcoma and being treated at Hillman, also added his name.
“It’s making a difference and an impact on increased funding and I think there is more optimism today about upcoming trials and new treatments than there was in the past,” Suit said.
The runners stopped here in Pittsburgh not only to meet sarcoma patients, but some of the UPMC Cancer Center experts.
“Research is extraordinarily important. It’s the only way we are going to improve life expectancy for our patients. There haven’t been any new treatments for sarcoma in a long, long time, so clearly we need to do a better job than we are doing and the only way that’s going to happen is in the laboratory,” Dr. Kurt Weiss said.
These runners are hoping they help raise money for that research each step of their trek.
For more information about Miles 2 Give, visit their website here: http://miles2give.org/
There is also an upcoming 5K run/walk to raise money for sarcoma research here in Pittsburgh. The event will be held on July 13 and you can find more information by clicking here!