At 8:00 AM on September 20, Eric Gelber, a married father of three and SVP of CBRE Group, Inc.’s New York Tri-State Region Retail Services, will begin an epic 48-hour run in New York City’s Central Park to raise funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers. This ambitious feat, in which Gelber aims to cover 200 miles, is the most audacious and daring running event that this ultra-marathoner has taken on to benefit the MMRF.
“Running doesn’t cure cancer, but research will. And it takes money to fund research,” said Gelber. “The more I push, the more attention and funds will be directed to the MMRF. It’s all about finding a cure. If pushing my limits helps in any way, I’m in.”
Though 48 hours of non-stop running will be difficult, Gelber’s 2013 effort has one distinct advantage: he will have company. Over 40 runners have donated $100 or more to support Gelber and join him on one or more of the 6.1 mile loop around Central Park. Starting the race with him will be multiple myeloma patient Sally Kalksma, of Pine Beach, New Jersey, who has taken on the Empire State Building Run-Up for the past two years to support the MMRF.
“It is my honor to support Eric at this important event,” stated Kalksma. “I am so touched that he literally puts his body on the line again and again to help fund critical research that is helping myeloma patients like me.”
Gelber will finish the 48 hour run at 7:59 AM on Sunday, September 22 with myeloma patient Jeannie Dreyer, of Brookline, New Hampshire. Jeannie, who ran the 2012 Boston Marathon for the MMRF, will run the last 6.1 miles joined by her husband and four children.
“We are incredible grateful for Eric’s passion to help the MMRF accelerate a cure,” stated Alicia O’Neill, Director of MMRF Endurance Events. “The funds raised through this event will be used to support the development of life-extending treatments for multiple myeloma.”
Two years ago, Gelber ran 155 miles through the Catskill Mountains to his parents’ home in Suffern, NY, an odyssey that took him 45 hours to complete. Last year, Gelber took on the legendary Badwater Ultra-marathon, billed as the “World’s toughest foot race.” Badwater, “only’” 135 miles, presents different obstacles: the race begins at Badwater Basin in Death Valley and traverses to Mt. Whitney in temperatures up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. He finished the race in 42.5 hours. Gelber raises the bar in his incredible endeavors every year.
“When it gets tough out there, and it always does, I think about my friend Anita Sorrel, who lost her battle with myeloma in 2012,” shared Gelber. “I also think about people like Sally and Jeannie, who are healthy today because of the work of the MMRF and its research and pharmaceutical partners. I know that what I am doing is making a real difference in the lives of patients who today have six new drugs that did not exist 10 years ago.”
Over the past five years, Gelber has raised more than $175,000 for myeloma research. Hundreds of other supporters have donated to Gelber’s 2013 effort, 48-Hours in the Park. To date this year he has raised $60,000, for this event. His fundraising goal, parallel to his physical goal is lofty: he hopes to raise a total of $100,000 in the two-day endurance run.
Often attracting the interest of major media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Gelber’s ultra-runs take months of planning and preparation. The MMRF Endurance Events Run Your Own Race Program lent fundraising support while his wife Tani and many friends and family members serve as Gelber’s all-important ‘crew.’
To learn more about how you can join Gelber for a lap or show your support to help him reach his fundraising goal, please visit www.themmrf.org/48hours.