MORRISTOWN, NJ -Cancer has been part of Ira Decker’s life for decades. His wife Ellen of 38 years was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in 1998. Thanks to research and the new drugs that had become available, she lived eight productive years before succumbing to the disease in 2006.
But it was not until December 2014 that Ira got involved with the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, when he met Ellen Brody, now chairperson of the Relay For Life of Greater Morristown.
Ellen’s team – Temple Beth Am – which means “house of the people” – was raising about $2,000 at that time. Since Ira is an attorney, he made a commitment to donate $100 from every real estate closing to the Relay For Life team. But Ira had his sights set on more than the 50-member team’s fundraising goal.
“Since Ellen (Brody) was a breast cancer survivor – and I wanted her to live a long and healthy life – hopefully with me, I told her, ‘When our team gets up to $5,000, I am going to get you an engagement ring. It has a nice ring to it.’”
The team reached their goal and Ira Decker and Ellen Brody Decker were married on October 3, 2015. Their team goal is to raise $10,000 this year, and they have already reached nearly $8,000. The Relay For Life of Greater Morristown will be held at Mennen Arena on May 21. The event, which is characterized by teams with one-member walking or running on a track all night, also includes a survivor lap and luminaria ceremony to remember those who have been lost to the disease.
“We have a wonderful relationship. And now we’re together at home, in Relay, and also at work,” said Ira. “Ellen didn’t get much time off and was stressed out fundraising for Relay. I told her if you come work with me, you can take as much time as you want to paint the town purple.”
Ira Decker and Ellen Brody Decker are a dynamic couple – hoping to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer. Ira believes that other professionals could easily donate $50 or $100 from every business transaction to support Relay For Life.
“Whatever business you’re in, it is a pledge. This is a disease that affects everyone, and we need to fund the research” said Ira, who was first affected when his grandmother died of pancreatic cancer. As an attorney, Ira frequently recommends the American Cancer Society to his clients who are creating wills.
For more information on the Relay For Life of Greater Morristown or the American Cancer Society’s research and patient service programs, call 800.227.2345 or visit relayforlife.org.