Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 3.32.06 PMAccording to the American Cancer Society (see stats), it is 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women that will have cancer in his or her life. These statistics may seem surprising at first, but cancer takes so many forms and touches without any boundaries young and old, healthy and less healthy, rich and poor. Over the last four years, I have been trying at my small scale to raise awareness about this unfair disease, by volunteering at the American Cancer Society, through their sport events program called DetermiNation.

Hamptons marathon 2013

Hamptons marathon 2013

The DetermiNation program enables endurance athletes to dedicate their training and  participation in marathons to the fight against cancer by fundraising dollars for the American Cancer Society. I ran my first marathon with DetermiNation in 2011. It was an extraordinary human adventure and a life-changing experience. On the top of receiving incredible training support, I got to meet hundreds of inspiring people and discovered the tremendous synergy effects that come from training, fundraising and working as a team. Since then, I have made the yearly commitment to fundraise for the American Cancer Society and cannot feel grateful enough for the wonderful support I have received from friends, family, neighbors but also from the NYU community. I would like to thank all those of you who have supported me in my fundraising efforts over the past four years. A special thank you to my NYU peeps for bidding at our annual auction for ACS and to faculty for donating items every time. To support my current fundraising efforts, click here.

NYC marathon 2013 - 2nd fundraising team

NYC marathon 2013 – 2nd fundraising team

Besides fundraising, I regularly spend time at Hope Lodge New York City, a home away from home for cancer patients and their caregivers, who can stay for free while they are receiving treatment in Manhattan. I love this building, the warm environment, the welcoming atmosphere. With other volunteers, we meet at Hope Lodge once a month and organize nights with the patients. I have met incredibly strong people who inspire me everyday. I have learned things that I did not know cancer could do. But more importantly, I have seen hope, smiles and an extraordinary determination to conquer this fight and give back.

Night at Hope Lodge with a wonderful patient

Night at Hope Lodge with a wonderful patient

Every time I come to Hope Lodge is a new confirmation that the dollars we raise have a purpose. More than ever, we need money to find cures and to help patients go through their journey with cancer. Every dollar counts. If you want to learn how you can make a difference in the fight against cancer by donating, fundraising or giving your time, here are a couple of ways:

Get involved with ACS

Help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Support the Cancer Research Institute

Give to Memorial Sloan Kettering