MCCANDLESS (KDKA) — Around 2,000 raced to find a cure for sarcoma at North Park Saturday morning.
They ranged from family members and friends of survivors and those who lost their battle.
Elizabeth Williams has been cancer-free for seven years. She was diagnosed with Osteo Sarcoma when she was 16.
“I went through 10 and a half months of chemotherapy and did a break about halfway through to have surgery and they removed a softball-sized tumor from my left femur,” said Osteo Sarcoma Survivor Elizabeth Williams.
Doctors replaced the femur in her left leg with a titanium rod. She has a scar to prove it.
“I can’t run. I can’t do anything that puts too much pressure on it so I can’t go on a treadmill. I can’t bounce or jump,” said Williams.
Luke Blanock wasn’t so lucky. He lost his battle to Ewing’s Sarcoma when he was 19.
“He went from a 100 percent healthy athlete to 24 hours later having cancer. A tumor on his spine,” said Kurt Blanock.
Kurt Blanock said his son fought for about two and a half years before he died in 2016. Luke went to Canon-McMillan High School. He was one of four in the district to have been diagnosed in the past 10 years. Mitch Barton was luke’s classmate. He was diagnosed with the same type of sarcoma in 2018 but survived.
“Right now I’m doing good. I just had a CT scan and it came back clear so there’s nothing in my lungs right now,” said Mitch Barton.
“When you’re talking about super rare diseases, you gotta do a whole lot of looking under the rocks to figure out why something is happening,” said UPMC Sarcoma surgeon Dr. Kurt Weiss.
Dr. Weiss beat ostea sarcoma almost 30 years ago and is now using his experience to help others.
He lost part of his leg.
“Sometimes you pick a job and sometimes it picks you,” said Dr. Weiss.
It’s about raising awareness that will help us get closer to finding a cure.
After Saturday’s race, Pittsburgh Cure Sarcoma will be closing in on $1.5 million in donations for sarcoma research since 2011.