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January 2011 Newsletter
The major fundraising event of 2010 was the Istanbul Marathon on October 17th with 42 PNB Fund participants who all paid their own way and were sponsored by over 250 donors.

The Istanbul Marathon is the only course in the world that includes two continents, Asia and Europe, in one race. As we gathered on a crisp October morning, we certainly felt a part of something special. There was the dream-like state of being awake and ready to run at 6 am. Even more, there was the joy of knowing that we were fulfilling Nabil’s dream of bringing together his family and friends from around the world to Turkey.

We began the run on the Asian side of Istanbul and were soon crossing the Bosphorus Bridge, alongside 200,000 other participants, into the European side. We were met with a spectacular view, the white clouds filtering the morning sunlight across the sound, but it was only the beginning. We continued past many historic sites and across more bridges to the Golden Horn before the race ended in old Istanbul, where we crossed the finish line in the magnificent shadow of the Hagia Sophia.

Three of the participants ran the full marathon and the rest ran/walked 15k. For all of us, it was a triumphant day. On the fundraising side, we’ve raised $60,000 , including donations from many people who are brand new to the Fund. It was also an inspiring experience. As one of our first-time marathon runners observed, "What I learned that day is that no matter how tired, worn out and exhausted you feel, you can always find a way to keep yourself going." These words remind us that, whatever the distance, participating in an event like the marathon is a test of one's mettle, faith, and perseverance.

The same can be said of the challenge to find a cure for synovial sarcoma. Research on this deadly cancer continues to be one of the least funded in the field. Nevertheless, a select group of doctors and scientists are making progress in genetic research and the PNB Fund continues to support their groundbreaking work. In February 2010, the Fund donated $45,000 to Dr. Marc Ladanyi’s team at MSKCC and in June the Fund donated $30,000 to Dr. Mario Capecchi’s team at the University of Utah.

The Istanbul Marathon was a remarkable event. Thanks are due to our organizers, Asu Okyay and Christine Bustany, to our runners, walkers and cheerleaders, and to all of those who continue to support our fundraising effort.
Sincerely,

PN Bustany Fund for Synovial Sarcoma Research Board: Rami Badawy, Christine Bustany, Laufey Bustany, Samir Ted Bustany, Alex Kaplan, Asu Okyay, Alex Rafal, Anthony Rizzo, and Sabrina Tom