CALDWELL, NJ — Hundreds of Caldwell-area residents are expected to gather once again for the annual Caroline Fund 5K on Sept. 16 in support of brain and spine tumor research being performed by Caldwell resident Caroline Vandemark’s surgeons at Hackensack University Center (HUMC) as well as in support of local families affected by cancer.
The fourth annual Caroline Fund 5K, to begin in the St. Aloysius Church parking lot at 9 p.m., is hosted by the Caroline Fund, a nonprofit organization that was started in the memory of Caroling Vandemark, a Caldwell resident who lost her battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme in 2013 at the age of 22.
Since its inception, the Caroline Fund has helped to fund cutting-edge research that has enabled the doctors to discover several novel treatment options by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars toward these efforts.
Mary Vandemark, Caroline’s mother, said that the race has become a fun, positive and inspiring day for the entire family.
“[The fund’s] dedication and love and hard work is unbelievable and the day couldn’t happen without them, without the Caroline Fund itself,” she said last summer. “It’s overwhelming the support that comes from a small community like this.”
According to Mary, the Vandemark family established the 5K in response to a blessing from Caroline’s doctors, Dr. Goldlust and Dr. Kaptain, who established a neuro-oncology department in Caroline’s memory named the Caroline Vandemark Fund for Brain and Spine Tumor Research at HUMC.
Now in its fourth year, the race has become about much more than Caroline. Caroline’s sister, Eileen, said that although the fund’s long-term goal is to help find a cure, the primary motive is to encourage those living with these devastating diseases by bringing the community together for this cause.
Caldwell Borough Council President John Cascarano will lead the race with remarks at the starting line, followed by an awards eremony following the race.
Teams and individuals are encouraged to register for the upcoming race, which begins at 9 a.m. with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. Participants are also encouraged to bring their families to enjoy other fun activities on the day.
To hear more about Caroline’s story and the impact she made on the community click HERE.