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Dedicated fundraiser receives St. Jude Hero Among Us award during 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- To help kick off the 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend, Sue Kessler was recognized as the recipient of this year's St. Jude Hero Among Us award.
St. Jude Heroes are a nationwide alliance of supporters who help raise funds and awareness for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® through fitness events. Since the award was established in 2013, it has been presented annually during the event weekend to a special St. Jude Hero for going the extra mile to support children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Kessler is no stranger to running or supporting St. Jude. The end of 2019 will signify Kessler running at least one mile every day for the last 20 years, as well as her 100th marathon upon completion of this year's St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.
She began running as a St. Jude Hero in 2016 and has since raised more than $73,000 for the kids of St. Jude. Kessler's energy and passion for the mission led to further involvement as an ambassador, in which she volunteers her time to help raise awareness for the hospital, recruit new St. Jude Heroes, encourage her fellow fundraisers and more.
After sharing her fitness journey and St. Jude story during an event weekend press conference, ALSAC President and CEO Richard Shadyac Jr. surprised her with the recognition of this year's St. Jude Hero Among Us award.
"Sue embodies the true spirit of what it means to be a St. Jude Hero Among Us, taking her incredible passion for running and intentionally finding greater purpose by choosing to run, fundraise and be a champion for the patients of St. Jude for years," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "She is an inspiration – not only to those of us in awe of her athletic capability – but also to the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital who are in the fight of their lives."
Kessler shared that she picks up a pebble at the finish line of each marathon. With this in mind, Shadyac also presented her with a pyramid – representing the great city of Memphis – made of 100 pebbles from along the marathon course.
Since its inception in 2002, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend has been Memphis' premier marathon. The event weekend is one of only two major marathons owned and operated by a nonprofit, in which the funds raised go to a single charity. This year alone, the event will generate more than $12 million to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.®️ Events like this help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all they should worry about is helping their child live.
Visit stjude.org/marathon for more information about the 2019 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter and Instagram and subscribing to its YouTube channel.
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SOURCE ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital