On Saturday, May 19, Roosevelt Island will host New York City’s inaugural 5K Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer, a fundraiser to bring awareness and support research around the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and about 14,000 die from it.
For the last 20 years, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) has held it’s 5K run/walk annually in various cities around the country; however, this will be its first time in the City. Kitty Silverman, spokesperson for the NOCC’s New York Chapter, says Roosevelt Island itself will be the draw for a lot of the entrants.
“You have no idea how often I hear from people that they’ve never been to the Island,” says Silverman. “Coming to Roosevelt Island is really exciting for people.”
Silverman, a native New Yorker who grew up in Queens and Manhattan, says she had never been to the Island until recently. She credits her friends, Island residents Laura and Giovanni Battistini, with helping her choose the location for the event. Giovanni Battistini is vice president of the Open Innovation Science division at Ferrero International, one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers, which will soon open at the Tata Innovation Center on the Cornell Tech campus.
Silverman hopes Saturday’s event will help draw attention to the need for early detection.
“A lot of what we do here is because of lack of knowledge,” says Silverman, explaining that because there is no single screening test for ovarian cancer, like the mammogram for breast cancer, ovarian cancer often isn’t diagnosed until later stages, making it more difficult to treat.
According to Silverman, participants in the NYC race have raised more than $50,000 in donations already. Silverman’s own team, called Kitty’s Krewe, has raised $1,805.
Islanders can register for the 5K run/walk or donate to the organization by going to runwalk.ovarian.org/newyorkcity.