As the Director of the Adolescent and Young Adults (AYA) Lymphoma Program, Dr. Lisa Roth has a unique ability to empathize with her patients. Three years ago, Dr. Roth herself was diagnosed with lymphoma. As an oncologist, she was used to confronting cancer every day, but never on such a deeply personal level. Not unlike many of her patients, she went from being young and healthy to facing a life-threatening illness with no warning.
After successfully undergoing chemotherapy, Dr. Roth’s lymphoma was in remission and she made running part of her recovery process. Six months after finishing cancer treatment, she ran her first race in the New York Road Runners Mini 10K.
Last weekend Dr. Roth returned to run the 2016 Mini 10K, but this year she was running for one of her precocious pediatric patients.
For Sammy, a six-year-old who has been battling leukemia for almost two years, his days are filled with not only play dates, ninjas and superheroes, but also routine visits to Weill Cornell and NewYork Presbyterian Hospital for chemotherapy and other procedures related to his diagnosis.
“Sammy and his family are a true inspiration,” says Roth. As part of “Team Sammy” Dr. Roth, along with Sammy’s mom Mana and a team of 12 people, ran the 10K and raised nearly $18,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, proving you don’t need superpowers to make a difference in the fight against blood cancer.
For Dr. Roth, it’s also personal. “This was my first race as a new mom. I owe my life and opportunity to be a mom to research funded by groups like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,” says Roth.
Learn more about Dr. Roth and Team Sammy, as they were recently featured on the New York Road Runners website.