On Aug. 10, runners representing almost every running club in Philadelphia will take to Belmont Plateau in West Fairmount Park for the 5th Annual Philly Mayor’s Cup event, a friendly competition measured across 5K, 5-Mile, 10K, 10-Mile and Half-Marathon races.
In addition, each club has chosen a local organization or charity to fundraise for in the lead-up to the annual event. This year, Legacy of Hope is partnered with the Fishtown Beer Runners, a social running club in Philadelphia founded in 2007. In addition to enjoying a frosty beverage after their weekly runs on Thursday evenings, the club regularly gives back to the community through philanthropic involvement.
FBR founder David April was glad to see both groups come together for Mayor’s Cup.
“I’ve been involved with Legacy of Hope for some time now. I’m actually a board member for Legacy of Hope, and I’m also one of the co-leaders of Team Relentless Hope, which is one of the programs sponsored by Legacy of Hope,” April said.
Team Relentless Hope is “a community of cancer survivors, patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals who recognize the importance of exercise, comradery, and support in the path to recovery and overall health and wellness.”
“It’s a support group made up of survivors, patients and those who want to help. We usually meet at 9 a.m. on Saturdays at Au Bon Pain on 10th Street or at the Patient Support & Welcome Center at 914 Chestnut Street, which is part of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. The best way to find out more is through our Facebook pages for Team Relentless Hope and Legacy of Hope,” according to April.
April explained that Legacy of Hope’s two-fold mission of funding not only cancer patient support, but cancer research as well, touched a chord with both him and FBR.
Furthermore, April described a unique “cross-institutional research committee” which worked with other medical centers in the city to find the top junior researchers in the field.
Besides fundraising happening after each weekly FBR run in advance of Mayor’s Cup, two large fundraiser events to benefit Legacy of Hope will be taking place at Philadelphia Brewing Company in Kensington on July 18, in addition to the fundraiser finale at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown on Aug. 8, featuring live music and raffle prizes.
April also spoke about how it felt to discover that many members of the Philadelphia running community, in addition to his own oncologist, both battled cancer and kept their regimens of health and exercise intact – something that inspired him when he learned of a reoccurrence of his own cancer just over one year ago.
“My oncologist told me that because of my health and fitness, he was able to sustain my treatments better. I’m able to withstand the various medications I’m taking, but also the fact that I’m healthy means that I don’t have other mitigating circumstances that I have to deal with, along with the cancer,” April said.
“Now, I’m able to live an active lifestyle through treatment. 10 years ago, that probably wouldn’t have been the case. So, I’m very grateful for that and also very hopeful, because my doctor said there are new tools in the toolbox every year for battling my type of cancer.”
April also spoke about the “transformative power of running” and how when it brings people together, special things can happen. The partnership with Legacy of Hope certainly could be counted as the latest example.
April will serve as a Captain of this year’s Mayor Cup team, along with fellow FBR members and Co-Captains Keith Tomaselli and Fred Druding. Sign up for the FBR Mayor Cup’s team here.
Legacy of Hope founder Mike Rowe also expressed gratitude regarding this year’s partnership with FBR.
“The Fishtown Beer Runners are where running, community, and friendship perfectly coalesce, and we are honored to be partnered with them in this year’s Philly Mayor’s Cup,” Rowe said.
The collaboration between the two groups has already yielded life-changing results.
“With the support of the Fishtown Beer Runners, we’ve already prevented two local families affected by cancer from losing their homes this week. So much as I have the capacity to ease a person’s suffering, I have the responsibility to act,” Rowe added.
Legacy of Hope’s founder remains resolute in completing its stated mission.
“We must strive not for what has already been accomplished or that which seems easily attainable, rather we must imagine the world when our loved ones never again hear the words ‘You have cancer’, and then reach for this with unwavering resolve,” Rowe said.