WEST ORANGE, NJ - On a sunny Sunday morning in West Orange, over 800 runners and walkers from all over north Jersey turned out to help Break the Silence of Ovarian Cancer at the Mayor's 23rd Annual 5K Run/Walk.
Organized by West Orange resident Shari-Beth Susskind, herself an ovarian cancer survivor, the walk raised more than $100,000, which will be used to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms. Shari-Beth's family and friends were part of Team Suss and Us, and other teams like Team Marsha, Fighting for a Friend, and Cathy's Angels were also in attendance to honor the memories of loved ones lost or to celebrate the survivors of ovarian cancer, known as the "Silent Killer." The Northern New Jersey National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the township of West Orange helped to sponsor the yearly event.
An all-female band played pop rock tunes as attendees signed in and visited the many informational booths set up in front of town hall. Recording artist Jay Stoler sang the national anthem. Mayor Rob Parisi, Senator Richard Codey, and Assemblyman John McKeon, who emceed, participated in the run as well. The 5K, which totaled about 2.3 miles, wound along Main Street and adjacent side roads.
The day paid tribute to loved ones lost, but also to the survivors of ovarian cancer, and the families and friends it touches. Participants gathered to not only stand united, but to celebrate life itself.