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27 Years Later, Cancer Loss Still Haunts This New Rochelle Runner

New Rochelle Evan Konwiser with his team, the Bluebirds in Pinstripes. Konwiser is second on the right, holding a child to his chest. Photo Credit: Submitted
Left to right: Evan Konwiser, his friend Rena, Jill, and their friend Sharon. Photo Credit: Submitted

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. --  Evan Konwiser has made it his mission to raise funds for cancer research.

And so, for the fourth year in a row, he'll be participating in the Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium. His goal? To eradicate having one less family member lose their life to cancer. The New Rochelle resident lost his sister, Jill, then 11, in the 1980s to a rare form of the disease.

For the first time ever, his mom, Ava Konwiser, will also be participating (she's usually a spectator).

Konwiser said he supports the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation because they have the most innovative cancer research to date. It still amazes him that, 27 years later, children are still dying from cancer and if he can have any part in making that change he's all for it.

Konwiser runs with a team called Bluebirds in Pinstripes, in memory of a poem Jill wrote when she was in the hospital receiving treatment. The team's founder and captain, in fact, is Jill's best friend.

"Jill was an inspiration to a generation of kids in New Rochelle as she fought cancer while still showing up for school whenever she could," said Konwiser. "She left her mark in so many ways, and the Bluebirds in Pinstripes is a fitting testament to her memory as we support Damon Runyon in ensuring our kids will never experience what she did."

Last year, Bluebirds in Pinstripes raised over $14,000. Since 2013, the team has raised approximately $29,000, not including this year’s total. His goal is $1,250, and currently, he's raised 40 percent of that goal.

Go HERE for his fundraising page.

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