MMRF PRESS RELEASES
New York Businessman to Run 48-Hours Straight in Central Park Beginning September 20, 2013 to Benefit the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
Scores of runners, including cancer patients, to join Eric Gelber on 200 miles – or 33 loops of Central Park
Norwalk, CT — September 17, 2013
At 8:00 AM on September 20, Eric Gelber, a married father of three and Senior Vice President of CBRE Group, Inc.’s New York Tri-State Region Retail Services, will begin an epic 48-hour run in New York City’s Central Park to raise funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers. This ambitious feat, in which Gelber aims to cover 200 miles, is the most audacious and daring running event that this ultra-marathoner has taken on to benefit the MMRF.
“Running doesn’t cure cancer, but research will. And it takes money to fund research,” said Gelber. “The more I push, the more attention and funds will be directed to the MMRF. It's all about finding a cure. If pushing my limits helps in any way, I'm in.”
Though 48 hours of non-stop running will be difficult, Gelber’s 2013 effort has one distinct advantage: he will have company. Over 40 runners have donated $100 or more to support Gelber and join him on one or more of the 6.1 mile loop around Central Park. Starting the race with him will be multiple myeloma patient Sally Kalksma, of Pine Beach, New Jersey, who has taken on the Empire State Building Run-Up for the past two years to support the MMRF.
“It is my honor to support Eric at this important event,” stated Kalksma. “I am so touched that he literally puts his body on the line again and again to help fund critical research that is helping myeloma patients like me.”
Gelber will finish the 48 hour run at 7:59 AM on Sunday, September 22 with myeloma patient Jeannie Dreyer, of Brookline, New Hampshire. Jeannie, who ran the 2012 Boston Marathon for the MMRF, will run the last 6.1 miles joined by her husband and four children.
“We are incredible grateful for Eric’s passion to help the MMRF accelerate a cure,” stated Alicia O’Neill, Director of MMRF Endurance Events. “The funds raised through this event will be used to support the development of life-extending treatments for multiple myeloma.”
Two years ago, Gelber ran 155 miles through the Catskill Mountains to his parents’ home in Suffern, NY, an odyssey that took him 45 hours to complete. Last year, Gelber took on the legendary Badwater Ultra-marathon, billed as the “World’s toughest foot race.” Badwater, “only’” 135 miles, presents different obstacles: the race begins at Badwater Basin in Death Valley and traverses to Mt. Whitney in temperatures up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. He finished the race in 42.5 hours. Gelber raises the bar in his incredible endeavors every year.
“When it gets tough out there, and it always does, I think about my friend Anita Sorrel, who lost her battle with myeloma in 2012,” shared Gelber. “I also think about people like Sally and Jeannie, who are healthy today because of the work of the MMRF and its research and pharmaceutical partners. I know that what I am doing is making a real difference in the lives of patients who today have six new drugs that did not exist 10 years ago.”
Over the past five years, Gelber has raised more than $175,000 for myeloma research. Hundreds of other supporters have donated to Gelber’s 2013 effort, 48-Hours in the Park. To date this year he has raised over $52,000, for this event. His fundraising goal, parallel to his physical goal is lofty: he hopes to raise a total of $100,000 in the two-day endurance run.
Often attracting the interest of major media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Gelber’s ultra-runs take months of planning and preparation. The MMRF Endurance Events Run Your Own Race Program lent fundraising support while his wife Tani and many friends and family members serve as Gelber’s all-important ‘crew.’
To learn more about how you can join Gelber for a lap or show your support to help him reach his fundraising goal, please visit: www.themmrf.org/48hours.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 41 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2013, more than 20,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and nearly 11,000 people are predicted to die from the disease.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $225 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 10 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit: www.themmrf.org.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Endurance Events Program
The MMRF Endurance Program offers runners, cyclists and triathletes access to coveted entries for world class events like the Empire State Building Run-Up, the ING New York City Marathon and the NYC Half Marathon. Other events include the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour, New York City Triathlon, Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and Boston Marathon among others. For more information, please visit: www.themmrf.org/enduranceevents.