PISCATAWAY, NJ – A 2 ½ mile path of multi-colored, neon glow wands and torches lit the way as over 450 supporters donned brightly colored neon necklaces and tee-shirts to participated in the 2nd Annual Glow for a Cure Run/Walk fundraiser to honor the memories and celebrate the victories of their loved ones who have been affected by cancer.
“Unfortunately, cancer touches the lives of far too many people,” said event coordinator, Harold Abraham, an Assistant Principal at Knollwood Elementary School. “It’s something that we as a community really want to raise awareness for and raise funds to one day potentially find a cure.”
Through online donations and registrations, the nighttime event held Saturday May 5th at Piscataway High School raised event officials presented a giant ceremonial check for $9,200 to the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey to benefit cancer research.
The focus for the glow event was broad, since cancer affects patients and their family and friends in different ways, Abraham said, noting that Piscataway resident, Indira Wojcik would continue to have a prominent place in the ‘Glow’s’ remembrance and tribute.
“She’s one of our beloved community members,” he said, explaining how Wojcik’s husband, Mike passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2015.
“Each year commemorates her husband who passed several years ago. He was someone who was incredibly respected within the community and just one of the many people who has been touched by cancer. He’s really the reason we started this event in the first place.”
“The Piscataway community has been amazing,” Wojcik tearfully said. “They have been with me through his (Mike’s) illness, through his treatment, through his death and after his death. That will always be with me.”
Wojcik said last year she wanted to have a race event like the Glow for a Cure because she wanted a way to carry on Mike’s memory and help others at the same time.
“When Mike was sick he did a lot of clinical trials, knowing fully well that he wasn’t going to benefit from them,” she said. “He said he was going to do them, because maybe it could help people in the future. My goal is to carry that on for him. To continue to do things that could help people in the future.”
While there were no winners or losers in the run/walk, “for us it’s more about us rallying together and bringing the community out for a great cause,” said Abraham. “We don’t place an emphasis on who comes in first. Really all of us are winners for coming out tonight.”
Just under the distance of a 5K race, the 9 p.m. run/walk started beneath the lights on the stadium track at Piscataway High School and followed a multi-colored trail of neon lights into the staff and student parking lot, then the rolling hills of Behmer and Sydney Roads and into Green Acres Park.
After looping back into a now darkened stadium, runners and walkers finished along a path of glowing luminary bags, each decorated with messages of support or in remembrance of family members who have battled cancer.
And in the Visitors’ section of the stadium, more white paper luminaries glowed in letter formation to spell the word, ‘Hope’.
“We finished around an illuminated track that spells out ‘Hope’, a message that we want to send to cancer survivors and people who are going through the battle currently,” said Abraham.
Suhas, a runner in the ‘Glow’ said he had fun and was glad to be a part of the fundraiser. “They put the lights exactly where you needed to go,” he said. “It was a good route to follow and a good workout.”
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