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Mahwah Teachers Training to Run Cancer-Fighting Marathon

Group's goal is to raise $10K for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

A group of Mahwah teachers is setting an example for their students that goes beyond the classroom.

Ramapo Ridge teacher George Kayal said he got an idea this year to combine two of his passions – running and raising money to fight cancer. Two years ago, Kayal’s son was diagnosed with Leukemia.

“Thank God, he has gone through treatment and is doing well now, but [we became very involved with the] Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and it was so helpful,” he said. “Every year, I try to donate as much as I can to them.”

This year, the teacher set a big goal for himself – a $10,000 donation. By tapping into the Ramapo Ridge running community, Kayal said he knew he could come much closer to reaching his goal.

“A few years ago, a group of teachers ran the NJ Marathon. I thought I’d reach out to them, see if anyone was interested in getting involved with this, ask some of my family members and friends, and put together a team.”

The plan worked. Kayal now has over 20 people, including Ridge teachers Sarah Tobia, Rachel Massaro, Liz Drosdick, Liz Dejean, Rich Gordaon, Andy Beutel, Suzanne Straub, and Cortney Glaubach, raising money with him.

The entire group will be running the New Jersey Half Marathon in Long Branch next month. In addition to physical training, the teachers and friends are working to raise money to meet Kayal’s goal before the marathon.

So far, the group is off to a great start. It’s already been able to raise $6,025.

“It is easy to donate online,” Kayal said. “We are asking people to give what they can, because it really is a great organization that helps people and their families.”

Click here to check out more about Kayal’s story and to find out how you can donate to the cause.

Submit your questions or news tips to jessica.mazzola@patch.com. And, remember to sign up for Patch's daily newsletter, and get updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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