Despite recent medical obstacles, Woodmere resident Howard Adelsberg is planning on breaking out his running shoes for the first time in three years for an organization that is dear to him and his family.
Adelsberg, 61, a lawyer with a practice in Cedarhurst, will be running in the Miami-ING Mini-Marathon on Feb. 9 to raise money for Chai Lifeline, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that aims to help children who are physically ill as well as give assistance to their families.
The inspiration for Adelsberg is his son Jonah, 26, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November of 2001, when he was 8. Adelsberg said that Chai was “instrumental” in helping his family after Jonah’s diagnosis. Adelsberg and Jonah have competed in the marathon for Chai since 2010. Adelsberg said they chose the Miami marathon out of convenience. His workload is lighter at that time of the year. They last ran together in 2017.
“Throughout our ordeal, Chai Lifeline provided our children with big brothers and sisters, emotional support, provided us with home cooked meals while Jonah was in the hospital. They even helped me with the insurance process,” Adelsberg said. “There’s not a dollar amount that I can repay them for all that they’ve done, so I figured why not try to raise money for them and give back as much as I can.” Chai also sent Jonah to Camp Simcha; a summer day camp in the Catskill Mountains for physically ill children the two summers after his diagnosis.
Team Lifeline, is the name of Chai’s marathon team. The team’s coordinator, Moshe Turk, has known Adelsberg for roughly a decade. “Howard is a determined, passionate and committed individual,” Turk said. “It’s always inspiring seeing Howard participate in the marathon and it’s a testament to the type of person he is.” So far this year, Adelsberg has raised $9,265.
Adelsberg has faced his own medical issues that have prevented him from taking part in the marathon for the past two years. “In a matter of six months in 2017, my eyesight went from 20 over 30 to 20 over 300,” he said. “To make matters worse, I was then diagnosed with a brain tumor.”
Having overcome his own medical challenge, Jonah can empathize with his father. “Knowing that he’s participating in February with the discomfort he’s been in obviously means a lot to me,” Jonah, a Woodmere resident said. “Also seeing the reaction from family and friends shows that it means a lot to them as well. My father just wants to give back as much as he can.”
Adelsberg said that he hopes the upcoming marathon inspires others, including his son. “I want to show Jonah and others that when life throws you curveballs, you just have to take it in stride,” he said. “And also, to never take anything sitting down.”
To support Adelberg’s marathon effort, go to https://bit.ly/326wVHx.