NEW YORK CITY — On August 12, thousands of avid runners, passionate baseball fans, cancer survivors and supporters from across the country will gather at the starting line for the Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium. Among them will be Cassandra Egan, a native of Jeffersonville and a cancer survivor. The 28-year-old mother of two and avid runner will participate alongside 4,000 others to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
Egan was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a cancer of the gland tissue in reproductive organs, in November 2008. Fortunately, doctors diagnosed her cancer early, and during the week before Thanksgiving, she went into surgery. Egan has been living cancer free since the end of 2008; however, because glandular cancer has a high recurrence rate, she must get screened every three months.
Egan aims to be an inspiration for cancer fighters and survivors everywhere. One of the ways she copes with the stress of cancer is running.
“This run means a lot to me because, up until now, I’ve been embarrassed about having cancer, and two children later, I’m finally seeing my experience as an inspiration instead of a weakness,” Egan said. “I’m ready to share my story because I’m sure there are other survivors, and maybe even fighters, who are living with the same feelings I once had, and I’d like to step out and let those people know that they can turn that vulnerability around into a source of strength. I live every day knowing that, at any screening, they could tell me it’s back. But I’m no longer living in the dark. I’m ready to face it head on and ask for support instead of hiding.”
The runners will get the signal to launch from former Yankees Ron Blomberg and Mickey Rivers, two of this year’s official starters. Participants will run or walk the concourses, climb stairs between levels and appear on the video board as they take their own victory laps on the warning track that circles the field. Since its inception in 2009, the run has raised more than $1.4 million to support groundbreaking cancer research by the nation’s most innovative young scientists, funded by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. This year, the event is expected to raise another $600,000.
After serving as starters for the race, the two legendary Yankees will meet and greet participants and spectators in the Delta SKY360° Suite, where they will be available for photos and autograph signing.
The foundation, established in 1946 and based in New York City, has a long history with the Yankees. Joe DiMaggio was on its board of directors. Damon Runyon was a New York writer who began his career as a baseball journalist, revolutionizing how the game was reported and often covering Yankees games.
Visit www.damonrunyon.org/donate  or call toll free at 877/722-6237.