Local doctor running Rothman 8k to honor late husband

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Marathon weekend in Philadelphia is just a few days away.

Runners from around the world will take part in the Rothman 8k, the half and the full Philadelphia marathon and are running for both fitness and cancer research. With these three different races this weekend, there will be a lot of runners in town.

And for many people, it's not just about the run - it's also about making a difference in the fight against cancer.

For one local doctor, this is very personal.

"No one loved life more than Michael did," Dr. Wendy Ross said. She describes her husband as full of life, a triathlete, a wonderful father and a cancer warrior.

The two met in medical school. Wendy went on to specialize in autism, Michael in sports performance at Rothman Orthopaedics Institute.

Five years ago, at age 43, he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. He died this past September.

This year, a team is running the Rothman 8k with Wendy in honor of Michael.

"So the people you see are people that love Michael, people that love running, people that support cancer research," said Wendy.

Supporting cancer research was a mission for Michael, speaking at the American Association for Cancer Research, or AACR. It's the Philadelphia Marathon's charity partner, making the weekend not just about running but also supporting a great cause.

"And now as we enter our third year, as an example, this morning over 8,000 individuals have actually made donations," said Mitch Stoller, Chief Philanthropic Officer, A.A.C.R. "Every dollar that we raise makes it possible for us to contribute to funding a young scientist who may have a novel idea."

Wendy credits the AACR for helping them find a clinical trial that gave Michael more time. "Those were extra days he had with our sons, and not just extra time but it was extra time where he could go back and do the things he likes to do," Wendy said.

She says when she runs on Saturday, she will miss Michael but will hopefully feel the joy he brought so many people.

The AACR says 88 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to cancer research. They support some of the most promising trials and are credited with helping fund many breakthrough treatments.

Registration to run is closed, but you can still donate to the cause: Philadelphia Marathon Donations
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