According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20 (5%). Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are considered separately, and the second leading cause when both sexes are combined.
A little less than a year ago, an old high school friend, Jabari, informed me that he was diagnosed with colocteral cancer and that he and his wonderful partner Kristen, would have a long battle ahead. Since then, Jabari has fought incredibly hard, demonstrating the same resilience and good-naturedness that characterized him during our stress-ridden high school days.
Jabari is no stranger to a good challenge. While at Stuyvesant, instead of coasting through Spanish or French, Jabari chose to study the most difficult language offered: Japanese. There is a word in Japanese that has no equivalent in English, but "gaman" can be described as a stoic, humble, and ultimately unshakable fighting spirit. In handling his diagnosis and treatment, Jabari has demonstrated a form of gaman that I can only hope to replicate for one short morning on November 3rd, when I will run the NYC marathon.
Jabari's experience has shown me the true threat of colorectal cancer to even the most healthy among us, and the importance of continued research to prevent and eliminate it from affecting so many lives. I am designating Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, the leading cancer research center and his hospital, as the recipient for the funds raised. Please join me if you can in raising money for this important cause!