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.