SONOMA, Calif. -- Engines were replaced by marchers, runners and even dogs on Saturday, Jan. 12, at Sonoma Raceway as more than 400 people turned out for the 2nd annual John's March Against Stomach Cancer fundraiser.
The event was held in honor of John Cardinale, a long-time employee at Sonoma Raceway who was diagnosed with stomach cancer in February, 2011. Cardinale led the march of 425 people around the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course at the event, which generated $13,980. All funds will go to No Stomach for Cancer (www.nostomachforcancer.org).
"I want to personally thank each and every person - and dog - who came out for the event," said Cardinale, vice president of media and community relations at the raceway. "This disease is in dire need of exposure and funds so that we can one day find a cure. I feel we took a giant step in the right direction today."
Participants in the march ranged from competitive runners to families, including children on bikes and strollers, and quite a few four-legged friends.
No Stomach for Cancer is non-profit group that works to increase awareness and education about stomach cancer, provide a support network for affected families and support research efforts for screening, early detection, treatment and prevention of stomach cancer.
Stomach cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the world, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The American Cancer Society estimates there are 1,000,000 new cases diagnosed in the world each year, with more than 800,000 deaths annually, yet it is one of the least funded cancers, in terms of research.
"This event was significant in that it united people who have been affected by stomach cancer and gave them an opportunity to show support for John and for one another. People have wanted an event that allows them to connect so they know they are not alone on their stomach cancer journey," said Beth Lambert, a member of the Board of Directors for No Stomach with Cancer. "John embodies what we as an organization are all about. We have promised John and all of those who participated in the walk that 100-percent of the proceeds will directly fund stomach cancer research; this is significant given that so little money is allocated for it."
Each participant received a T-shirt and enjoyed light refreshments following the march.
Donations can still be made in honor of this event by completing the John's March Against Stomach Cancer donation form at www.nostomachforcancer.org/support-us/events and mailing it with your check, payable to No Stomach for Cancer, Inc. All donations will be acknowledged.
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