12th Annual Valley Road Run for Families Affected by Cancer
On a blustery Sunday morning in early October, over 350 participants arrived at the Thomas J. Paul building in Jenkintown for The Breathing Room Foundation’s 12th Annual Valley Road Run. The fast and flat 5K run and two mile walk raised close to $13,000.00 for the organization, who cares for local cancer patients and their families.
The funds raised will be used by The Breathing Room Foundation for services such as filling an oil tank in the winter months, purchasing medical supplies not covered by insurance, paying for transportation to and from appointments, and paying a utility bill for a family battling cancer.
“We recognize that a diagnosis of cancer affects a family’s financial stability. We strive to give each of our families a bit of ‘breathing room’ from this struggle,” said Mary Ellen Fitzgerald, Executive Director of The Breathing Room Foundation. “Without the support of the community for fundraisers such as this, we would not be able to assist the more than 650 families we are caring for this year.”
Sponsoring this year’s event were the Julianna Hike Fund, Berkadia, Lincoln Investment, Abington Jefferson Hospital, Susquehanna Bank, and Abington YMCA. All of the sponsors were recognized on the commemorative shirts provided to the participants.
Fourteen teams were formed for the race in support of the organization. The largest team was created by the Gwynedd Mercy College’s men’s basketball team in honor of their assistant coach, Bernie Fitzgerald, co-founder of The Breathing Room Foundation. Team Sara was formed in memory of one of the foundation’s recipients who lost her battle to cancer and left behind a husband and three sons. Team Wonder Woman was created to celebrate a past recipient’s survivorship, and the Jenkintown Field Hockey team came out as Team Drakes. Walkers included a local Brownie troop committed to doing community service.
Winning this year’s race by an almost two minute margin was Steve Gourley, who is the Options Case Manager for another local non-profit, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County. Timing was done by Pat McCloskey of RUN Bucks. Thank you to all of this year’s race participants, sponsors, and volunteers for making this year’s race a success!
The Breathing Room Foundation
The Breathing Room Foundation is best characterized as neighbors helping neighbors impacted by cancer. Established in 1997, the Breathing Room Foundation has grown from supporting seven families the first year to serving 628 new families in 2014. Our mission is to provide care and support to families affected by cancer. We recognize that a cancer diagnosis affects every aspect of a family’s life: emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial. We strive to provide a family with whatever it is that will allow them a bit of “breathing room” from their daily struggle against cancer. It is our hope that this will allow them to concentrate all of their efforts towards regaining their physical health. www.breathingroomfoundation.org