August 29, 2011 Posted by khelgeson in Explore, Health, Lifestyle, Local, News, Sports, Stories
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‘Imagine a world without cancer’

By Corrine Garcia and Abbie Digel

When Big Sky resident Marne Hayes tossed her name into the lottery to run the New York City Marathon, she was pretty certain, and almost hopeful, that she wouldn’t make the cut.

She had never run a marathon before, and decided to enter her name on a whim. Also applying was her husband Erin Hayes already had a couple of marathons under his belt.

Marne’s name was drawn from approximately 150,000 applicants, so Erin, determined to run, signed himself and Marne up for Fred’s Team, the largest and oldest charity of the NYC Marathon, which supports cancer research at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Last year, Fred’s team raised over $40 million for Sloan-Kettering.

Fred’s Team is named after Fred Lebow, the original founder of the New York City Marathon. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and treated at Sloan-Kettering. He came back from treatment deeply affected by the children being treated there and decided to start the first official charity of the New York City Marathon on behalf of Sloan-Kettering.

Fred died of cancer in 1994, but his legacy lives on with runners who wear the recognizable orange shirts bearing the slogan “Imagine a World Without Cancer.” In New York the Hayes’s will run with 250 members of Fred’s Team from all over the country.

This cause, Erin says, hits close to home. Both he and Marne have relatives and friends who’ve been affected by the disease.

Erin set his fundraising goal to $5,000, but has since surpassed it and raised the bar to $6000. This fundraising experience made him feel “overwhelmed with the amount of support the Big Sky and Bozeman community has offered, and the stories donors have shared.” He’s learned about many locals who have fought with cancer, without other members of the community being made aware.

The charity allows the athletes invovled to pick a specific type of cancer they want to support. Erin chose to devote his funds to children’s leukemia research, which falls under Sloan-Kettering’s umbrella – the center funds clinical research and treatment of over 400 types of cancer.

The need to give back “hits people at different times in their lives,” Erin said. Now is his time, he said, and it’s benefitted him mentally, spiritually and physically. He’s enjoyed helping a charity he believes in while pursuing athletic endeavors. Help Erin and Marne Hayes reach their goal by contacting him at or visit and enter his name in the participant box.

Fred's Team Fact Sheet

New York City Marathon