NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – A 200-kilometer mega-marathon relay race fundraiser, starting in Brooklyn and ending in the Catskills, kicks off this week.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams With The Story

The run is being organizaed by the group JRunners which mixes fitness with philanthropy.

Co-Founder Steven Friedman says the group was created to promote health and fitness in the Jewish community.

“The Jewish community really is at the beginning of getting into that health and fitness, running, and the like lifestyle,” says Friedman.

This year, the race will help out the Ohr Meir Foundation, which was founded in the memory of Friedman’s brother who died 18 years ago at the age of 9 after battling leukemia.

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

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Friedman’s parents, Ira and Idi, started the foundation to help other children with cancer.

“If life deals you lemons, you can look at it as lemons or you can squeeze it into lemonade and we chose to squeeze it into lemonade,” Ira said.

“My son’s name was ‘light.’ It brings light to children with cancer. It takes them out of their darkness,” says their Idi. “This keeps our child’s memory alive.”

Every year, they take fifty young cancer patients to Disney World for four days to take them away from reality and put them in a fantasy world.

“They forget their illness and they can be regular for a few days,” says Idi.

Steven says he’s running in his brother’s memory.

“As much as the pain is, you put yourself even slightly to realize what these kids endure, and it’s like, ‘You know what? I can endure certainly a little, if not much more, of what I’m going through and I’m going to go to the finish and I’m going to continue,'” says Steven.

LINK: JRunners

The race kicks off Aug. 17 in Brooklyn and ends Aug. 18 at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake.

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