After record year, Marathon needs help


By Jim Poole

After handing out record-setting money to cancer sufferers, Marathon for a Better Life needs your help.
Marathon gave nearly $150,000 to Schoharie County residents with cancer in the past 10 months, far more than at any time in the organization’s 27-year history.
But that rate can’t continue without more people pitching in.
That’s the message coming from Marathon President Kathy Diamond and board members.
“We’re not desperate,” Ms. Diamond said. “We’re not going away, not at all, but this can’t go on forever.”
Marathon’s fiscal year runs July 1-June 30, and last year gave out $140,000.
“We’re almost at $150,000 this year with a couple of months to go,” Ms. Diamond said.
Marathon gives $1,000, no strings attached, to each person based on a simple formula: Have cancer, live in Schoharie County.
But Marathon’s reputation has grown through publicity. Also, health-care agencies outside the county who treat in-county patients have referred them to Marathon for financial help.
“It’s a conundrum,” said board member Bruce Tryon. “As we become more well-known, more people come to us for help. And then we need more money to help them.”
Marathon’s signature event is the Marathon for a Better Life, or Cancer Walk, that will be held June 10 at SUNY Cobleskill. Teams of walkers circle the Champlin Hall parking lot in a day-long effort to salute cancer patients and survivors.
Usually the teams have raised money through the year––or even only a short time––and turn it in that day.
Ms. Diamond’s goal is to sign on more teams this year.
“Build a team, start a team,” she said. “There are so many ways to fundraise.”
“That’s what we need,” added Steve Chaisson, Marathon vice president. “It’s all good.”
Typically, teams form to honor a cancer victim, patient or survivor.
“So many families have been touched by cancer,” Ms. Diamond said. “This all comes from the heart, but we can’t do it without a few more hearts.
“This is such a way to give back.”
The June 10 event is more than 12 hours of walking around a parking lot oval. There will be tributes to cancer survivors, live music, a farmers market, vendors, sales and a luminaria ceremony at the end.
To learn more, donate or register a time, visit