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The News Room

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Brooklyn Daily 

Standing O is at it again!

It’s spotlight on amazing teens this week. Standing O is saluting 15-year-old Sol Gindi of Gravesend for creating the inaugural Strive to Survive run, held at Prospect Park on March 5. The run, which was held to bring attention to kidney cancer research, raised $70,000, which was presented to Dr. David Nanus from the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Hospital.

Strive to Survive was organized by the Kidney Cancer Awareness Group, an organization Sol also founded three months ago to honor his late grandfather Sol Betesh.

After the passing of his grandfather in September of 2016, Sol felt compelled to commemorate the person that his grandfather was, and to raise awareness and funds to fight the deadly cancer and prevent others from feeling the pain his family felt from this passing.

Sol said his grandfather was incredibly fit and “was always mistook for being 20 years younger.”

What better way than to honor this man with a run — and hold it in March, Kidney Cancer Awareness month?

Along with help from his dad and family in organizing the event, the talented teen enlisted the help of his fellow students at Magen David Yeshivah High School in Bensonhurst by organizing a planning committee. Together, the team built a website, organized donations, and sent out letters encouraging sign-ups.

One-hundred percent of the funds went to continue the kidney cancer research work being done at the hospital and headed by Dr. Nanus.

Strive To survive run; By Frieda Haber 

On the frigid morning of Sunday March 5, excitement filled the air as 100 community runners gathered in Prospect Park to partake in the Strive to Survive 5K run to raise money for kidney cancer research.

The Strive to Survive run, planned by high school student Sol Gindi in the memory of his grandfather Sol Betesh A”H, raised a total of $70,000 for Weill Cornell Medicine for cancer research.

The idea for this run was born when Sol Gindi’s grandfather, Sol Betesh A”H, passed away from kidney cancer. Wanting to do something in his memory, Sol wracked his brain for ideas and eventually the idea for the 5K run was born. Sol felt it was only fitting to give all the proceeds of the run to cancer research in order to help the fight against cancer in anyway he can. Once Sol was set on planning a run he joined with a couple of friends to plan the event, they were unstoppable. The success of the run was a true testament to Sol and his team’s hard work.

The morning began as runners received long sleeve running shirts along with a running bib. Each runner had the opportunity to write someone they strive for on the bib, which provided inspiration as they ran. Before the race began, Dr. Nanus, a prominent doctor in the field of kidney cancer research as well as the doctor who treated Sol’s grandfather, addressed the runners and spectators. Sol Gindi delivered a speech about his vision in planning the run for such an important cause. After Sol spoke, he and his father handed Dr. Nanus a big check for $70,000 for kidney cancer research. Lastly, runners and spectators had the opportunity to hear from a victim of kidney cancer, Jack Vitale. Mr. Vitale really touched everyone’s hearts as he spoke of the hardships of cancer, his appreciation to Sol as to how he aided in funding the organization, as well as the importance of binding together to find a cure. After the speeches, the runners were truly inspired.  It was time for the race to begin.

The atmosphere of the race route in Prospect Park was one of positivity and excitement. Each runner pushed until they reach the finish line. As runners crossed the finish line feelings of accomplishment, excitement, and giving were in the air. At the finish line runners were greeted with a celebratory breakfast as well as awarded a medal, a testament to their strength and accomplishments. The pride on each of the runner’s faces was evident. Runner Joyce Cohen said, “ I really enjoyed running in this 5K. It made me happy when I saw what my friend, Sol, achieved and it really meant a lot to him.”

Congratulations to the first place winners of the run, Ben Allison and Marjorie Sitt. As well as the second place winners, Morris Dweck and Selena Gindi, and the third place winners, David Haddad and Linda Sutton.

All in all, the Strive to Survive 5K was an immense success. It is amazing to see young leaders in the community taking initiative and making the community aware of issues that are less spoken about. Cancer is a dangerous disease and leader Sol Gindi caught wind of that and decided to make a change. Sol hopes to raise more money for this cause in the future, he said, “ We’re going to move forward from here, we raised over $70,000 for cancer research. It doesn’t stop here.” Look out for other events or ways to give to cancer research, because as the Sol’s organization, the KCAG, says, “We will not rest until we find a cure, because having no cure is not an option.”

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Community Magazine


Weill Cornell GU Blog

Hitting the Ground Running in the Fight Against Kidney Cancer

A little over two years ago, Sol Betesh of Brooklyn, New York, received news that changed his life. At age 83, he was given the diagnosis of kidney cancer.

“Sol was my grandfather – but beyond that, he was my inspiration and my hero,” says Sol Gindi, his namesake and 15 year-old grandson. “Grandpa was very athletic and after his diagnosis he wasn’t able to do the things he loved most any longer.”

A successful businessman, loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Sol Betesh unfortunately lost his battle with kidney cancer in December 2016, but his memory lives on through his family.

Sol Gindi, a sophomore at Magen David High School, was inspired to found the Kidney Cancer Awareness Group (KCAG) in memory and honor of his grandfather.

“Seeing my grandfather struggling to survive inspired me to create KCAG to raise money and awareness for kidney cancer. Together we can find a cure and make Sol Betesh the last person to pass away from kidney cancer,” Sol Gindi.

In 2016, there were approximately 63,000 new cases of kidney cancer diagnosed in the United States. March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month.

To spread awareness and raise money for a cure, Sol Gindi, a sophomore at Magen David High School in Brooklyn, is organizing a 5K race in his grandfather’s honor with the support of friends, family and classmates.

On Sunday, March 5, hundreds of runners of all ages will line up in Prospect Park for the first annual Strive to Survive, a family-friendly fun run and walk benefiting kidney cancer research at Weill Cornell Medicine. The event has already raised over $50,000.

“Historically, kidney cancer has been a difficult cancer to treat especially when it is diagnosed at an advanced stage. Through research efforts over the past 20 years, we have been able to improve both the length and quality of life for many of our patients with kidney cancer. However, despite great progress, most patients are still not cured. The support provided by the Strive to Survive event will allow us to continue our steadfast commitment to kidney cancer research that aims to find a cure,” says Dr. David Nanus, Genitourinary Oncologist and Chief of Hematology and Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

6 Charity Runs That Will Give You All the Feels

Not that you need any added motivation to get out there and run, but running for a cause provides a dose of inspiration you might not get with other races. Medals, T-shirts, and the adoration of your supportive friends and family are all great, but adding a layer of philanthropy and purpose to an event takes things to the next level.

Whether you want to set a new PR or flex your philanthropic muscles, you’ll have a blast at any one of these worthwhile and impactful charity runs.

The first annual Strive to Survive 5k aims to raise both money and awareness for kidney cancer, in loving memory of Sol Betesh. Proceeds from the event will fund research conducted by Weill Cornell Medicine’s Dr. David Nanus. 

At the conclusion of the race, a rewards ceremony will be held in Bartel Circle. All participants will receive an exclusive event T-shirt.