Run 4 Ray

Ray Vitale, Lung Cancer Warrior

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Event Details
Date & Time

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Location

Vancouver Marathon

Contact

Cinzia Russo
(514) 340-8222 x26751

Event Description

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In November of 2015, Ray Vitale ran the New York City marathon and was in the best shape of his life. 10 months later on his 55th birthday, Ray's life took a turn as he was diagnosed with stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. After brain surgery and 21 bouts of chemotherapy, Ray is still fighting with more treatments to come. Ray is a lung cancer warrior.

I met Ray for the first time while he was training for the New York City Marathon and have been working at the same company as him since then. I've known Ray for about 4 years now but have got to know him a lot more over the past year. He followed and encouraged me along my training for the Ottawa Marathon and every time we talk about running his eyes light up and then pictures of his training and marathon come out.

Unfortunately, Ray isn't running anymore but in May, Anna (my girlfriend) and I are going to #run4ray and other lung cancer warriors just like him at the Vancouver Marathon. As part of this, we are raising money to support lung cancer research at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Ray's hometown.

A common misconception is that lung cancer is the result of smoking, but many people like Ray haven't smoked a day in their life but still get diagnosed. In fact, about 15% of lung cancer cases in Canada occur in people who do not use tobacco. As a result of this stigma, the disease is severely underfunded. In Canada, lung cancer deaths account for over 25% of cancer related deaths but the disease receives just over 5% of all cancer funding in Canada. To put this into perspective, breast cancer results in just over 5% of cancer related deaths but receives over 25% of total cancer funding in Canada. If this isn't enough, here are a few more quick facts:

-234,030 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer by the end of 2018
-1 in 15 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
-Lung cancer has the lowest 5-year survival rate of the other most common cancers: only 18% (compared to prostate at 99%, breast at 90%, and colorectal at 65%)
-If lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more improves to 55%

I think Ray puts it best when he says: "F#$K CANCER".

Lung cancer is not just a smoker's disease and it needs more support from all of us. If you can, please help us to change the stigma and support warriors like Ray.

Jordan McDonald and Anna White


Sources:

http://www.lungcancercanada.ca/Lung-Cancer/Researc...
https://www.lungcancerfoundation.org/about-us/lung...
http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-...

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