Logo for Stony Brook University
News and Media Relations header
  • Search Press Releases
Stony Brook Medicine News


"Liz Kelly Run for the Sun" Honors Life of a SBU Student, Patient
The First Annual Memorial Run/Walk to Benefit Sunrise Fund at Stony Brook

STONY BROOK, N.Y., September 13, 2011 – The first annual “Liz Kelly Run for the Sun” 5K will take place in Patchogue on 

The “Liz Kelly Run for the Sun” 5K honors the life of Liz Kelly, a Stony Brook University student and cancer patient.

September 25. The run/walk honors the life of Elizabeth Kelly, a 19-year-old Stony Brook University student stricken with cancer in 2009 who died in 2010. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the event benefits the Sunrise Fund at Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital. All proceeds go toward pediatric cancer research. 

“Liz handled her illness with such grace, despite what became an uncontrollable disease course,” says Patti Kelly, Liz’ mother and organizer of the event. “We want her life to be remembered as a gift, 19 perfect years. The love and support of the Stony Brook doctors and nurses, and my promise to Liz to help others in her memory, prompted me to start this event. We hope it is one of many fundraisers for helping to advance pediatric cancer research, particularly for forms of the disease that are so difficult to treat.” 

In September 2009, Liz was a vibrant Stony Brook University freshman and on the swim team. After a few weeks of feeling unusually tired, Liz, a competitive swimmer since age 8, attributed the fatigue to her workouts and rigors of college. But her fatigue continued that semester and other symptoms ensued. 

After seeing Robert I. Parker, M.D., Director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital, Liz was diagnosed with cancer with an undefined tumor origin. The team immediately treated Liz aggressively with cancer therapies. Though Liz, who was born in Stony Brook University Hospital, responded to some treatments, her disease spread rapidly the following fall and she passed away on December 22, 2010, just hours before her 20th birthday. 

This past summer, a kickoff dinner held at The Oar in Patchogue for the Liz Kelly Run for the Sun 5K raised $1,300, which Patti Kelly donated to the Sunrise Fund for cancer research. Called the “Friends of Liz Kelly,” Patti, other event organizers, and the nurses and doctors of Stony Brook’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology team, expect to build on these proceeds from participation in the run/walk. 

The event starts and finishes at Dublin Deck Marina on River Avenue in Patchogue. The race begins at 11:00 am, rain or shine. Sponsors include Dublin Deck Marina, the Village of Patchogue, the Patchogue Lions Club, and the Sunrise Fund. 

Top raffle prizes include a Kohler bathroom worth $10,000, signed guitars by various artists, and a Heineken Mountain Bike. 

Pre-registration is $25 and $30 day of race. For more information, contact Patchogue Village Parks & Recreation at 631-475-4302. Registration applications are available online at Justfinish.net

About the Sunrise Fund at Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital 
The Sunrise Fund was created in 1999 as a grassroots organization by concerned parents of patients. Through the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital, the fund raises money to establish numerous initiatives to help children fighting cancer and lend support to their families. Doctors, nurses, child care specialists, social workers, and other healthcare professionals make up the Sunrise Fund team. 



© Stony Brook University