SOURCE: Richard M. Brodsky Foundation

Richard M. Brodsky Foundation

April 04, 2012 11:00 ET

59 Years Young, HIV+ Brain Cancer Survivor and Richard M. Brodsky Foundation President Runs Three Fastest Marathons Since Cancer Diagnosis

ATLANTIC BEACH, NY --(Marketwire - April 04, 2012) -  Richard Brodsky was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1997. In 2002 he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given 2 - 4 years to live. Brodsky's last 3 marathons have been his fastest marathons since being diagnosed with cancer. On October 15, 2011 and January 29, 2012, Brodsky was invited by ING to participate in the Hartford and Miami Marathons. His Hartford time was 04:27:14 and his Miami time was 04:27:02; we are talking gun time as opposed to when his feet crossed the start of the race. Brodsky beat his fastest time in Hartford by 46 seconds and in Miami by 12 seconds.

It was at this time that Brodsky said, "My goal is to cut 1 minute (+/-) from my next 25 marathons so by age 65, I could run a sub-4 hour marathon again." I, Richard Brodsky, President of the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, a 501(c) (3) public charity, don't like to make statements unless I am fairly confident they will come to fruition. I now need to revise the age 65 date to age 63. Here's why. On March 25, 2012, I ran the Ocean Drive Marathon in 04:23:22, beating my time again by 3 minutes 20 seconds, well above the 1 minute (+/-) that I had been predicting. Also, the Ocean Drive Marathon was a more grueling course than Hartford and Miami as there were many more bridges, plus the run was directly into the wind.

My reasons for running marathons with my marathon-running wife Jodi are as follows: 1) People, even those living with HIV and cancer, can reverse their aging process. People living with HIV and cancer and their caretakers need to realize this. The government can do its part to make sure that people living with so-called fatal illnesses have access to medical care and medicine. 2) 2/3 of the 1,800,000 people who are dying from AIDS every year live in sub-Saharan Africa. Not only do these people need AIDS medicine and follow-up medical care, they need clean drinking water, food, education, shoes and everything possible needs to be done to eliminate poverty, malaria and tuberculosis. One child in eight will die before their 5th birthday in Kenya according to UNICEF. 3) I genuinely love running marathons and raising money for AIDS and cancer projects and it also affords me the opportunity to help eliminate the stigma of AIDS. My HIV-negative wife Jodi and I are married for 32 years. Our choice was not to remain silent about my being HIV-positive because if all AIDS sufferers kept their illness a secret, there would be little funding for AIDS research and programs to improve the lives of people living with HIV.

My Foundation has sent me to Kenya seven times to sponsor and/or co-sponsor and participate in the World AIDS Marathon in Mbita or Kisumu, Kenya. The first ever World AIDS Marathon was held on World AIDS Day 2004 in Mbita, Kenya, an island in Lake Victoria. We only raised a few thousand dollars which was enough seed money to get a 50 - 60 bed orphanage, the Little Lambs in Nakuru, Kenya, into construction after an 18 month construction delay. Money was also donated for other AIDS projects in Africa and AIDS research at the University of Florida at Gainesville. We thought we could raise more money by having the 2005 World AIDS Marathon in America but the Event ended up costing the Foundation money. We were at a loss as to how to proceed for a few months. On March 28, 2006, UN AIDS, World Health Organization, issued a report stating that Kenya was one of only two countries to reduce the rate of new HIV cases from December 2003 to December 2005. After hearing that and realizing that our marathon was right in the middle of that time slot and over 2,000 spectators witnessed the Event, we realized we had no choice but to return to Kenya.

We relocated the World AIDS Marathon to Kisumu, Kenya and the Kisumu World AIDS Marathon Group was established in 2006 to help fund and organize the 2006 World AIDS Marathon. The group has been vital in making this Event a success every year. 4 of the Foundation's board members are Kenyan or have spent many of their years living in Kenya and they know how to get things done in Kenya. My role has always been the dreamer. When I suggested we invite President Obama's Kenyan grandmother to the World AIDS Marathon, this was just a wish, but often times in life wishes do come true. Mama Sarah, Mr. Obama's grandmother, has appeared at the World AIDS Marathon giving out prize money raised by the Brodsky Foundation as well as waving the Kenyan flag to signify the start of the World AIDS Marathon. Photos are available on the website www.worldaidsmarathon.com.

The World AIDS Marathon is not your typical marathon as we only charge Kenyans $.50 - $.60 depending on the currency exchange rate and everyone receives a World AIDS Marathon t-shirt. We give away $1,000 in prize money. Foreigners register at a cost of $120 and that covers transportation to two orphan dinner dances for 650 orphans and getting to dine and dance with the orphans.

The Brodsky Foundation has donated $115,000+ in cash, toys and toiletry/gift items, raffles to people living with HIV, cancer & friends, prize money, orphan dinner dances for 3,450+ Kenyan orphans, medicine & constructing orphanages for Kenyan orphans; AIDS & cancer research and projects supporting people with HIV or cancer and has sponsored 4 FREE Run/Walks for HIVers, Cancer Survivors & Friends, The Brodsky Foundation has also sponsored 7 World AIDS Marathons in Kenya. In 2011, we recruited our first American to make the trip to Kenya: Dr. Richard L. Sartori, an American pediatrician from Garden City, Long Island, examined 56 orphans and donated $500 for medicine. Dr. Sartori will be honored at an upcoming fundraiser as the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation's Hero of the Year.

On June 10, 2012, at 8 AM, the Brodsky Foundation will be sponsoring its 5th annual 5k AIDS Cancer Run Walk in Cedar Creek Park, Seaford, Long Island. All participants will receive an Event t-shirt and it will have their name on the shirt if they sign up by May 24. Here is the registration link:  http://www.active.com/running/seaford-ny/5th-annual-5k-aids-cancer-run-walk-2012. The first 300 registrants will receive $45 in gift certificates from local restaurants. A sumptuous brunch will be served and last year we gave away $6,000 in FREE raffles, 100 trophies to male / female winners in each five year age group, masters 40+ and overall. A prize package of $1,100 in gift certificates to the winners in each of the winning categories will also be given out. To read more about the Event, visit www.5kaidscancer.com.

Donations are greatly appreciated and can be mailed to Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, 1247 Mara Court, Atlantic Beach, NY 11509 or made online via the website www.richardmbrodsky.org or www.5kaidscancer.com.

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