Daughter, friend, courageous cancer patient honored at Comer Kids' Classic

Daughter, friend, courageous cancer patient honored at Comer Kids' Classic

October 16, 2008

Lisa Klitzky passed away at age 25 from a rare form of pediatric cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, a malignancy in the soft tissues with a poor prognosis for patient survival. An artist and a selfless young woman, Lisa did not lose sight of helping others--even as she was going through painful treatment at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

As Lisa would have wanted, her family and friends run the Comer Kids' Classic every year to help support continued advances in pediatric care. They are among the hundreds of participants in this year's event that will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m., on the University of Chicago Laboratory School campus.

Lisa lived in Highland Park and then Long Grove, and battled the disease for more than a year under the supervision of James Nachman, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of clinical programs. Her mother, Marlowe, adds that despite her ordeal, Lisa thought Nachman was "absolutely fabulous" and thought of Kelly Kramer, RN, MSN, CPON, CPNP, "as a friend, not just a nurse."

"Coming to the University of Chicago Medical Center was not the shortest trip, but it was worth every mile to us," Marlowe said. "We support Comer Children's Hospital and all the wonderful people there wholeheartedly. One cause that is very important to us is to keep funding programs for survivors of childhood cancer."

In honor of Lisa's legacy of beauty, art and kindness to others, her family and friends created the Lisa Klitzky Foundation, which supports adolescent cancer survivors who face long-term physical and psychological challenges. Participating in the Comer Kids' Classic is one way that the foundation helps to raise funds for the Children's Hospital.

Presented by U.S. Equities Realty and PMA Consultants, the Comer Kids' Classic will raise funds to support patient care and research underway at Comer Children's Hospital. Opened in 2005, the Comer Children's Hospital and its staff of pediatric specialists are dedicated to providing top-notch care for kids and their families in a state-of-the-art environment.

The 5K run/walk winds through a USATF-certified course through historic Hyde Park. The course will start and end at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools on 58th Street between Kimbark and Kenwood avenues. The Comer Kids' Classic is a family-friendly event for people to come out, cheer the participants, and relax and have fun.

Early registration is $25 for adults for the 5K run/walk, and $10 for the Kids' Dash.

To register online, go to www.active.com or call Special Events Management at (773) 868-3010. Registration the day of the event is $30 for the run/walk and $10 for the Kids' Dash.

Warm up for the 5K race begins at 9:45 a.m.

During the Comer Kids' Classic, a parking ban will be in effect from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. along the 5K race route through Hyde Park. The ban will extend through residential streets and cover:

  • Kenwood Avenue between 57th and 58th streets
  • 57th Street between Kenwood and Stony Island avenues

Free parking is available in the garage at 55th Street and Ellis Avenue, along Midway Plaisance, and along Ellis Avenue.
The University of Chicago Medical Center sincerely hopes not to inconvenience residents during this event and thanks them for their understanding and cooperation.
For more information, runners and walkers should call (773) 868-3010. Media should contact Martha O'Connell at (773) 834-8089 for more information.

About the University of Chicago Medical Center
The University of Chicago Medical Center, established in 1927, is one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions. It consists of the renowned Pritzker School of Medicine; Bernard Mitchell Hospital, the primary adult patient care facility; Comer Children's Hospital, devoted to the medical needs of children; Chicago Lying-in Hospital, a maternity and women's hospital; and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, a state-of-the-art ambulatory-care facility with the full spectrum of preventive, diagnostic, and treatment functions. Care is provided by more than 700 attending physicians--most of whom are full-time University faculty members--620 residents and fellows, more than 1,000 nurses and 9,500 employees.

The Medical Center is consistently recognized as a leading provider of complex medical care. It is the only Illinois hospital ever to make the U.S.News & World Report Honor Roll, with eight clinical specialties--digestive disorders; cancer; endocrinology; neurology and neurosurgery; heart and heart surgery; kidney disease; geriatrics; and ear, nose and throat--ranked among the top 30 programs nationwide. The Medical Center was awarded Magnet status in 2007, the highest level of recognition for nursing care.