Race raises $40,000 for cancer patients, families

May 23, 2018

The first Nicole Podkowa 5k Road Race, held on Sunday, May 6th at the Bay Club in Mattapoisett, raised over $40,000 to support patient needs while undergoing cancer care.

The race attracted 466 runners and walkers and an additional 120 members of the community volunteered at the run.

The race was held in honor of Nicole Podkowa, the wife of Southcoast Health primary care physician and Marion resident, Dr. John Podkowa. Nicole passed away in May 2016 of breast cancer and left behind her husband and two young boys.

Dr. Podkowa said of the race, “I know my wife would have loved this day, to see so many people come together from across the community to support a very worthwhile cause. Our slogan for the race was ‘Nobody Does This Alone’, and today’s event proves that there is a community of caring here on the South Coast.”

All proceeds from the race will benefit the Nicole Podkowa Patient Family & Caregiver Fund, which assists patients and families at the Southcoast Health Centers for Cancer Care. The fund provides for emergency and immediate needs of patients and families undergoing cancer treatment at the centers.

Dr. Elizabeth Blanchard, Chief of Hematology and Oncology at Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care, noted, “This fund is incredibly important for our patients. A cancer diagnosis can be emotionally and financially devastating, and this fund allows us to help patients and families with food, gas, and other critical needs during treatment.”

The men’s winner of the race was New Bedford resident Pedro Conceicao, who ran the 3.2-mile race in 19 minutes and 54 seconds. The women’s division winner was Taunton resident Sarah Casey, who finished in a time of 22 minutes, 33 seconds.

The times of all participants are available at http://www.coolrunning.com/results/18/ma/May6_Podkow_set1.shtml.

The race was organized by the Southcoast Health Centers for Cancer Care’s Oncology Outreach Coordinator, Kathy Tsonis. Plans are already underway for the 2019 race, and donations are still being accepted by calling 508-973-3077 or online at https://www.southcoast.org/philanthropy/tribute-gifts/.