RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A 24-hour soccer marathon will take place in New Jersey this weekend in an effort to raise money for colon cancer research and advocacy.
The inaugural ‘AliveAndKickathon,’ organized by 3-time cancer survivor Dave Dubin, is happening at Bergen County’s Overpeck Park. The co-ed soccer game is open to children of all ages.
Dubin, who has beaten colon cancer twice – once at age 29 and again at 40- also had a kidney tumor removed at the age of 42. The father of three suffers from a genetic predisposition called Lynch Syndrome.
“After tumor number two, I started looking at the statistics, and I was amazed to find that colon cancer was the number two cancer killer overall, and number one among non-smokers,” Dubin told CBSNewYork.com. “Awareness and funding was minimal, especially in comparison to other cancers.”
So he decided to do something about it.
“Since I’ve been a soccer player since I was five, we felt that soccer would be one of the best ways to reach our primary audiences – under 50, women, and multiple ethnicities. As far as we could tell, no one else was using soccer as a means of awareness and fundraising, and a twenty four hour event was a way of getting impact,” Dubin said.
Rookie Red Bulls goalie Ryan Meara will be in attendance as well as other Red Bull representatives.
Although this is the first event, Dubin said his organization has plans for multiple locations around the country in 2013. A portion of the event’s net proceeds will go directly to Hackensack University Medical Center.
“Colon Cancer really does not have a survivor ‘champion,’” Dubin said. “We have no celebrities waving the ‘blue’ flag or proudly wearing blue ribbons for colon cancer.”
He may not exactly be a celebrity, but Dubin sure sounds like a champion to us.