Mahwah, N.J. (PRWEB) September 2, 2007
Answer to Cancer, a national foundation that benefits organizations that promote awareness for hepatitis B and liver cancer, will hold its third annual 5K run/walk at Darlington Park in Mahwah, NJ, on Sunday, September 16, 2007. Answer to Cancer co-director and Mahwah resident Shannon Morris says the foundation has raised more than $350,000 since its inception in 2003 and hopes to grow that amount even more at the Mahwah event.
"In the U.S., more than 1 million people have developed chronic hepatitis B infections and more than half a million people worldwide die each year from primary liver cancer," says Morris, whose youngest brother Adrian Elkins was diagnosed with primary liver cancer at the age of 19 as a result of chronic hepatitis B he contracted as an infant in India. "While only three percent of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (API) make up more than half of the people chronically infected with the disease in the U.S."
A2C was founded in 2003 by Adrian Elkins. A collegiate cross-country runner and sophomore at Southern Oregon University, Adrian was diagnosed with primary liver cancer at the age of 19, a result of chronic hepatitis B he contracted as an infant in India. As he sought treatment for the disease, Adrian was determined to create something positive out of the battle he was facing. He created the Answer to Cancer Foundation to raise funds to support organizations that supported liver cancer and hepatitis B research and education.
At the first Answer to Cancer event held in McMinnville, Ore., in 2003, more than 240 runners and walkers participated and the group raised more than $22,000. Soon after the first Answer to Cancer event in 2003, Adrian lost his battle with liver cancer. His family continued with his mission. Since that first race, events have taken place in San Francisco, Calif., Mahwah, N.J., and Boston, Mass. In addition, the A2C team, including Elkins, Morris and sister Tara Darrow, have been called on to speak at several patient forums and participate in national media campaigns. Usually, the A2C team offers the perspective of a family who has been affected by liver disease and miseducated about how to treat it. A2C has also been honored by the American Liver Foundation and the Hepatitis B Foundation for its efforts.
Now in its third year, the A2C New Jersey team hopes to attract even more runners and walkers to participate in this fun and inspirational event, which will take place on September 16 at Darlington County Park in Mahwah. More importantly, they aim to continue to raise funds for liver cancer research and education through the race and a fundraising raffle.
"New Jersey has a large population of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans -- a group of people who make up more than half of the people chronically infected with hepatitis B," said Morris. "With the money we raise at this event, we can do more to help fight these diseases and possibly save someone else's brother, sister, son or daughter. That's why we do this every year."
This year, the Answer to Cancer Foundation will distribute its funds to a variety of national organizations focused on liver cancer and Hepatitis B research and education. Funds are directed to the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University, the Hepatitis B Foundation, the American Liver Foundation and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
"When Adrian created Answer to Cancer, he had a vision about what we would accomplish and how we would make a difference," said Morris. "I don't think any of us would have guessed that his dream would lead to more than $350,000 raised at events around the country and thousands of people educated about our mission. It's pretty phenomenal."
"We've missed Adrian every day for nearly the past five years," said Morris. "And this is our way of making sure he continues to live on."
Answer to Cancer co-director Shannon Morris is president and partner of Sigma Group, (http://www.sigmagroup.com), a national advertising agency located in Oradell, N.J. She has been actively involved in A2C since its flagship race in McMinnville, Ore., in 2003. Sigma Group has helped A2C expand into a national organization by developing a strategic marketing and branding strategy, as well as maintain the A2C website, race materials and registration information.
About the Answer to Cancer Foundation
The A2C Foundation focuses on educating people about liver cancer, and promoting the involvement of the community in research, treatment awareness and education as it relates to liver cancer and associated illnesses, specifically Hepatitis B. The group aims to raise funds for organizations and associations that have a similar mission and a large national reach.
Details on the Answer to Cancer Run/Walk in Mahwah, NJ
When: Sunday, September 16, 2007
Where: Darlington County Park, Mahwah, NJ
What: 5K Run/Walk begins at 9 a.m. 200 yard kids fun run to follow event.
Runners and walkers of all ages welcome; families encouraged.
Music and refreshments will be available during and following the event. Awards to top finishers and kid participants.
Asian Liver Center at Stanford University
American Liver Foundation
Hepatitis B Foundation
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
More information at: http://www.answertocancer.org
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