Beating Sarcoma to the Finish Line

SF Marathon medal

SFA is honored to announce that, Marissa Friedman, a sarcoma survivor, runner, and Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) volunteer, kicked off the SFA’s inaugural year participating in the San Francisco Marathon on, June 16, 2013. In May 2012, at 27 years old, Marissa was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma which is found in only 800 people annually. Already a runner, she was registered for the 2012 San Francisco Marathon.  Instead of spending the summer training, she was receiving chemotherapy treatment and undergoing surgery to remove the tumor which was wrapped around her femoral artery.

Marissa’s strength, determination, and refusal to be defeated by sarcoma inspired her to set the goal of participating in and completing the 2013 SF Marathon.  What makes Marissa’s participation in the SF Marathon all the more remarkable was that she was just three months out from completing her radiation treatment for synovial sarcoma. Marissa led the fundraising team for this event and recruited loved ones to participate in the race, as well as raise awareness and funds for sarcoma. Combined, Marissa’s team raised $8,145 in funds for sarcoma research.

In Marissa’s Own Words

“Thank you, thank you to our supporters. The generosity of others propelled us to complete this race as well as gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this race. This time last Marissayear I had just begun chemotherapy and did not have the emotional, mental and physical endurance to walk around the block, let alone complete a marathon. Learning how to thrive as a cancer survivor has been more challenging in many ways than the treatment process as you understand how to chart this next step. Anything I can do to find a cure for sarcoma in my lifetime is an integral part of my life as a cancer survivor.”

The San Francisco Marathon Charity Program offers a unique opportunity for non-profit organizations like the Sarcoma Foundation of America, to connect with philanthropic runners to raise money for their cause and to gain exposure through San Francisco Marathon events.  Marissa, who was instrumental with helping SFA organize its initial year as a charity partner with the SF Marathon, is committed to growing the relationship between SFA and the marathon, in hopes of increasing participation for future races. As an independent charitable organization, the SFA works in partnership with hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, corporations, and individuals to fund the research, education, and advocacy programs and initiatives that are the foundation for finding the cure for sarcoma.  The Sarcoma Foundation of America relies on the efforts our dedicated volunteers like Marissa, to increase our fundraising outlets, and to support our mission.  We are certain that the relationship Marissa has established between the SFA and the SF Marathon is invaluable and will continue to grow. If you are interested in representing SFA in one of the many marathons hosted throughout the U.S., please contact Patrice Guzman, SFA Chapter Manager, at [email protected].

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