'Freeze Your Lymphs Off' Saturday in Edgeworth to benefit cancer research
Josh Billings has two goals in mind for the 5K event he's organizing Saturday in Edgeworth: “Beat last year” and help fight cancer.
The Quaker Valley High School junior already is on his way to accomplishing those goals, including beating last year's registered participants and dollars raised for the Freeze Your Lymphs Off 5K For Lymphoma.
“It's really powerful for us to raise this money and be able to help possibly solve the cancer that my dad has,” said Billings, 17.
The event began as a school-required personal project Billings first organized last year as a sophomore.
“I was originally thinking of doing something little to just get it over with,” said Billings, a member of the school's cross country team.
Then his father, Donald, was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma — a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma — a blood cancer, resulting from a malignant transformation of a lymphocyte in the outer edge of a lymph node follicle, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Mantle cell lymphoma makes up just 6 percent of all non-Hodgkins lymphoma cases, according to data released last year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After a stem cell transplant around November 2011, Billings' father went into remission — about six months after first being diagnosed.
“He's doing really well now,” Billings said of his father.
His father is on a maintenance program and receives chemotherapy at times, Billings said.
So far, nearly 300 participants are registered for the 5K run and one-mile walk through Edgeworth. About 275 runners and walkers from ages 8 to 68 participated last year, Billings said.
About $6,000 already has been collected in sponsorships, and Billings said he hopes to beat last year's donation total of $12,000.
He praised Quaker Valley and Edgeworth officials for helping to grow this year's event. His mentor froom last year, Nina Strelec, is helping him along the way.
“He's really done all of the work for this,” said Strelec, a runner and Edgeworth Elementary School art teacher.
“He organized last year's event without ever really seeing an actual race, and it turned out very well. So we're hopeful this year's race will be even better.”
Spectators who might not be interested in participating are welcome.
“Last year we had neighbors banging pots and pans to cheer for people,” he said. “We had a great turnout of supporters.”
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sewickley teen shares pet cleanup idea with borough
- Sewickley Herald Man of the Year’s reach goes beyond his official role
- Quaker Valley schools chief to take close look at volunteer law
- Quaker Valley musical hits comedic note for senior citizens, others
- PMT spotlight to shine on Sewickley Academy senior
- Officials to consider permit-only parking for Sewickley zone
- McDonald’s Edgeworth plan raises concerns over safety