My name is Dan Humphrey and I'm a member of team DetermiNation and I'm raising money for the American Cancer Society as we train together to run in the 2013 ING New York City Marathon!
One of the great things about the American Cancer Society, and the reason I chose to join their team, is how much the ACS has benefitted people struggling with cancer everywhere for over a century. For every dollar you donate, 72 percent of it goes to research funding, cancer-fighting programs around prevention and early detection, and free hands-on services to assist patients. Another 21 percent is set aside for community events and programs to raise funds for our mission, celebrate survivors and offer healing for those who’ve lost loved ones to cancer. That leaves only 7 percent for general costs and overhead. The ACS gives every cent possible to those who really need it, it's not about making themselves more money.
The reason I joined team DetermiNation was because, before I joined, I was really struggling with who I was and I felt lost. I took a semester off from college and was given the incredible offer of a volunteer position at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It started only as an idea, but before I knew it, I had sworn to run the New York City Marathon. And not only that, I was going to do it with a charity. From my time at Memorial Sloan Kettering and from the many dinner conversations between my parents I had overheard about cancer all my life (both of my parents are oncologists), I knew that the charity I wanted to join would work to fight cancer. And while there were many charities that did just that, I knew the ACS for their reputation and incredible contributions to cancer research and treatment.
I'm also running in memory of my uncle, Stephen E. Straus. He was an incredible and brilliant man, but also gentle and funny with a good smile. But because of a brain tumor, he died when I was 13 years old. He spent his whole life fighting illnesses at the National Institute of Health, but was done in by cancer.
Since I made my promise that I would find direction in my life through running, so much has changed. I've come to understand so much about myself and who I am. I run 4 or 5 times every week and I've run several races, and team DetermiNation is deep in training! It has already been an incredible experience, and I could never imagine giving up running. But it's not about me. It's about the estimated 577,190 who died of cancer last year alone, people like Uncle Stephen, and the more who are dying every day. Something has to be done about it. I know you know someone who has had cancer affect their lives in terrible ways. We can work together and help make a difference.