Malverne Woman to Run LI Marathon’s 5K at Eisenhower Park in Memory of Parents Lost to Lung Cancer

The Alice & Louis Borkowski Fight Against Lung Cancer Fund will benefit Lung Association’s Research, Education and Advocacy to Fight Lung Cancer

(April 17, 2014)

Jennifer Kunz of Malverne has wanted to run a 5K race for a long time.  She has also wanted to do something to honor her parents, Alice and Louis Borkowski, who had spent 40 years of their lives in Valley Stream raising their seven children, doting upon their grandchildren and beginning to enjoy their golden years before lung cancer changed everything.  Sadly, Louis and Alice’s golden years were cut short by lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of both men and women here in New York and across the U.S.  Jen’s father, Louis, died in April, 2012 and it wasn’t long afterwards that her mother, Alice, learned she, too, had lung cancer. Alice died this past February.  Both Louis and Alice were in their early 70’s.

Borowski photo
Alice and Louis Borkowski

For Jen and her siblings losing two parents to lung cancer in the span of two years has been difficult and painful.  Like so many other families, they never realized that lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. They were also surprised and disheartened to learn that lung cancer receives significantly less research funding than other cancers.

“I am organizing this event because after seeing the impact lung cancer has had on my parents and family I decided to do whatever I can to help prevent others from experiencing this pain,” says Kunz.

Kunz is convinced that research is the key to providing hope and saving lives, especially when it comes to lung cancer. Research, she explains, has helped in the understanding of how lung cancer is caused, how it works, how it can be prevented, how it is detected it and how the various types are best treated.  “But we need to do much more to discover all that we can about this disease” stresses Kunz.

“The Lung Association is grateful to Jen for establishing a fund in honor of her parents and raising money to support continued lung cancer research,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.

For Kunz, it felt natural to marry her goal to run a 5K with her desire to honor her parents by raising funds to support lung cancer research.  She reached out the American Lung Association to get advice about setting up the
 Alice and Louis Borkowski Fight Against Lung Cancer Fund to help bolster the research being done by the Lung Association.  Lung Association staff also helped her set up an “I Love Lungs” event page through the Association’s website to begin raising money for her cause.  She also called her friend Jason Lipset, who is the Race Director for the Long Island Marathon, to get some tips about starting a race in her parent’s honor.  Lipset suggested that instead of starting her own race, she join the Long Island Marathon’s 5K and create a team to honor her parents.  The Long Island Marathon offers groups and charities the opportunity to set up a personal page on their website, recruit team members, raise money and participate as a team at the Marathon races.

Through working with the Lung Association and the Long Island Marathon, Jen has not only created a beautiful tribute to her parents, she’s created a team of supporters and advocates who share her commitment to finding better treatments and cures for lung cancer.  The Alice and Louis Borkowski Fight Against Lung Cancer Fund has raised over $3,000 to date, exceeding Kunz’s expectations.  She’s also been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have expressed interest in joining her team and running with her.  Several friends, family members and coworkers will be joining her at the start line and running alongside her on Saturday May 3.

“I’m really looking forward to running my first 5K and to running with a group of people who have been so supportive and so giving,” says Kunz.  “It feels really good to be able to do something positive to honor my parents and help other families who are facing lung cancer.  I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who has been supportive.”

In June, after the LI Marathon is over, Kunz and her family will join the Lung Association at their second annual memorial event in New York City where her parents’ names will be added to the Lung Association’s Donor Wall.  The Wall remembers those who have been lost to lung disease and recognizes those who have been instrumental in furthering the Lung Association’s mission.  

To join Jen Kunz and Team Borkowski in the LI Marathon’s 5K, visit her page http://www.run-li.com/site/index.php?id=40. To make a contribution to the Alice and Louis Borkowski Fight Against Lung Cancer Fund visit:  http://action.lung.org/goto/aliceandlouisfund or http://go.lungne.org/borkowski2014.

To learn more about lung cancer and the services and support offered by the American Lung Association, visit http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/.