Hitting the Ground Running in the Fight Against Kidney Cancer

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Pictured together, Sol Betesh takes Sol Gindi for a haircut

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.

To support this effort, sign up for the 2017 Strive to Survive or make a donation to the Kidney Cancer Awareness Group.

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You’re Invited: Celebrate the End of Movember!

Each November, we are proud to participate in the Movember campaign by growing moustaches and raising money to increase awareness and support for men’s health issues. The Movember Foundation is committed to funding research that will halve the number of deaths from prostate and testicular cancer by 2030. At Weill Cornell Medicine, we too are committed to reducing cancer deaths and increasing cures, and we’ve been fortunate to receive many Movember research grants over the past several years.

We hope you can join us for a happy hour to raise money for this important cause and to celebrate the end of Movember! It’s also your last chance to see our ‘staches until next year.

Where?
Draught 55
245 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022
When?
Thursday, December 1, 2016
6:30pm  – 8:30pm

Buy your tickets today for the early bird special– $35 includes 2 complimentary drinks, food, a chance to win an iPad mini, and more!

All ticket proceeds will be matched and benefit our Movember team, the Wild Weill Cornell Mos.

Special thanks to Bill Foxx and Onco360 for sponsoring the complimentary food and beverages. 

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Learn more about our participation in Movember, why we’re so committed to the cause, and other ways you can get involved.

Movember 2016

Movember_Drs Nanus Beltran TagawaFor the 7th year in a row, we are proud to participate in a month-long campaign to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues each November, also known as Movember.

The Movember Campaign helps men live happier, healthier and longer lives through investing in prostate cancer and testicular cancer screening and research, as well as mental health issues.

What’s Movember?

The initiative started in Australia in 2003, when two friends decided to try to bring back the moustache trend by growing out moustaches during the month of November. The following year, after they realized that this facial hair was quite the conversation-starter, they decided to channel that energy to raise money for prostate cancer research.

Over the next few years, both the moustaches and audiences grew. The fundraiser gained traction in Australia and New Zealand. In 2007, Movember officially launched globally with partnerships in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Spain, all with one cause in mind – to change the face of men’s health – literally and figuratively through increased awareness and funds.

movember_group_wgcToday, more than 5 million “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” from more than 20 countries around the world have collectively raised over $700 million dollars to fund 1,200 men’s health projects.

How can you get involved?

A number of different ways!

  1. Join our Movember team. Our team, the Wild Weill Cornell Mos, is committed to raising awareness and funds for a cause that is near and dear to our hearts.
  2. Grow a moustache. How low can you grow? Make a statement! Commit to going razor-free and growing a moustache in solidarity this month. It’s a great conversation starter to encourage friends and family members to donate to Movember.
  3. Get moving! Take the Move challenge and increase your physical activity. You can “Fly for the Guys” by teaming up with us at two special Flywheel spin classes to benefit the Wild Weill Mos Movember Team. Never taken a spin class before? This is the perfect opportunity to try it out, and there will be many beginners. Mark your calendars and sign up today:
  1. Make a donation. Donate now to support our team.
  2. Get checked. Research shows that many men only go to the doctor when they’re sick. In honor of Movember, make an appointment to visit your doctor for an annual physical or encourage a loved one to visit the doctor. Many diseases can be prevented or at least treated when caught early, including cancer.
  3. Socialize and celebrate with us at Draught 55 on Thursday, December 1st. 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales will be matched and donated to Movember.

What type of research has been funded by Movember?

Movember is committed to funding research that will halve the number of deaths from prostate and testicular cancer by 2030. The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), one of our partners in research, is partnered with Movember to distribute funds to the most worthy scientific teams and projects.

pcf-retreatWe at Weill Cornell Medicine have been fortunate to receive many of these grants over the past several years. Some of these recent Movember-PCF Challenge Grants have funded our research to study:

  • Blood tests that assess the tumor’s circulating DNA to predict reasons for treatment resistance
  • Circulating tumor cell (CTC) tests to predict which patients are more or less likely to respond to hormonal therapy or chemotherapy
  • Assessing the genome of “primary” tumors (i.e. the initial tumors in the prostate) compared to advanced, treatment resistant tumors
  • Evaluating inflammation in adipose (fat) tissue around the prostate, which is associated with tumor growth.

Learn more about the cutting-edge research funded by the PCF-Movember Challenge Grants in 2016, 2015 and 2014.