Meet Eric Gelber
Run Your Own Race Program Participant
Click on either title below to read the full story:
Eric's Story - 48 Hours in the Park:
Posted: September, 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 and awareness for the MMRF and myeloma research. This ambitious feat, in which he aims to cover 200 miles, is the most audacious and daring running event that this ultra-marathoner has taken on for the MMRF to date.
“Running doesn’t cure cancer, but research will. And it takes money to fund research,” said Eric. “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.”
Over 40 runners have donated $100 or more to support Eric and join him on one or more 6.1 miles 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. Eric 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 endured a stem cell transplant in 2010 as part of her myeloma treatment, will run the last 6.1 miles of the 48-hour journey joined by her husband and four children.
“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 Eric. “I 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, Eric has raised more than $175,000 for myeloma research. To date he has raised over $49,000, for this year’s 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. To learn more about how you can join Eric for a lap or show your support to help him reach his fundraising goal, please visit: www.themmrf.org/48hours.
Eric's Story - Badwater:
Posted: July, 2012
On July 16, Briarcliff Manor resident Eric Gelber will join approximately 90 of the world’s toughest athletes – runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers – in a battle against each other and the elements. While Gelber expects this to be his most challenging mission so far, it is hardly his first hardcore endeavor to support the MMRF. In August 2011, Gelber completed a unique 155 mile solo “Ultra” run from upstate New York through the Catskill Mountains, eventually finishing in Suffern, New York.
The legendary Badwater event covers 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130F (55C) and must be completed within 48 hours. It is widely regarded as the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. Runners must be invited to participate and must prove, through a grueling set of pre race activities, that they are worthy of the “privilege” of taking on this challenge. Gelber applied in 2011, but did not get in. He is excited to be participating in this year’s 35 anniversary edition.
Training for such an event includes a regimen of not only lots of running, but also of hour-long post-run sessions in a 170-180 degree sauna along with sleep deprivation exercises. Eric's wife and a few close friends will be on hand serving as his support crew. He has raised more than $110,000 for the MMRF since he began supporting the blood cancer research foundation four years ago, and is already close to $35,000 for this year’s effort alone.
The father of three and Senior Vice President of CB Richard Ellis’ New York Tri-State Region Retail Services team finds that raising funds and awareness for the MMRF puts more meaning into his running. Family friend Anita Sorrell was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003 and lost her battle in May of this year. Saddened but undeterred, Gelber intends to continue testing himself with challenging events to continue raising funds. “The most significant thing I can do is to help advance the research that is developing cures for this little known cancer and paving the way to new treatments for additional forms of cancer. I know this is where I need to channel my energy and fundraising,” said Gelber.
Originally Posted: August, 2011
Eric Gelber really knows how to go the extra mile to support a good cause. From Thursday evening of August 11, 2011 through that Saturday afternoon, he ran 155 miles non-stop to benefit the MMRF. His custom course, which he named “The Catskill 155 – Journey for a Cure” began in upstate New York and meandered through the Catskill Mountains, finishing in Suffern, NY. A father of three, Eric has raised more than $80,000 for the MMRF since he became been involved with the organization in 2007, and raised $30,000 for this race alone.
The non-stop physical challenge was the equivalent of running six marathons in less than two days. Family friend Anita Sorrell, diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003, was waiting for Eric at the finish line. “I am humbled and honored by Eric’s relentless pursuit of not only his personal goal of running so incredibly far, but of his drive to raise more and more money each year for this terrible cancer that I battle. He is my angel here on earth,” said Anita.
Attracting the interest of such media outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Eric’s Catskill 155 took months of planning and preparation. The MMRF’s Endurance Events Run Your Own Race Program lent training and fundraising support while wife Tani and many friends and family members divided and conquered to join Eric and form a crew along the route. In the end, only Eric’s feet knew the challenge and victory of completing the full course. Eric’s remarkable stamina is proof that anything is possible, and he credits Anita with providing the inspiration. He explains, “Anita has taught all those who know her that every day is a good day.”
48 Hours in the Park takes place
Eric on his first epic journey
Eric preparing for Badwater
Eric with his supporting PowerTeam crew
Eric with Anita Sorrell who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003