Jane Forstadt, left, mother of Pat Cole, stands next to a mural made in Pat’s memory with Gloria Kennedy from Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Both Forstadt and Kennedy will speak at Sunday’s Pavement Pounder benefit, to be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the F-M High School track.
Manlius From 1 to 3 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 25, community members will gather at the Fayetteville-Manlius High School track to honor Patrick Cole one last time.
The Pat’s Pavement Pounder race/run benefit is a tribute to the memory of Cole, who was a freshman at Fayetteville-Manlius High School in 1999 when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the soft tissue.
“When we held the first Pat’s Pavement Pounder, there were not the number of fundraisers that there are today,” said Jane Forstadt, mother of Patrick. “We are very gratified that there are many events for the benefit of Golisano Children’s Hospital and are confident that contributions from many sources will continue. After 12 years, and this year being the 10th anniversary of Patrick’s death, we felt it was an appropriate time to hold the final PPP.”
Patrick died in 2001 at age 16. During his 20-month battle with cancer, he was treated at the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. The benefit is a fulfillment of Patrick’s dream to help children with cancer. Patrick was involved with the first Pavement Pounder in 2000.
The benefit has raised more than $132,000 for the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and $9,000 for the Patrick Cole Courage Award scholarship during its 12-year run.
Darryl Geddes, director of public relations at Upstate Medical University, said Patrick was an inspiration to those who cared for him at Upstate University Hospital.
“Funds raised from the Pavement Pounder have helped support pediatric cancer research at Upstate, which is very much in keeping with Patrick’s desire to help others,” Geddes said. “Additional funds raised by the event are helping to support the new Upstate Cancer Center, where children will receive their outpatient care. We are so grateful to have known Pat and his family, and the generous participation of all those who raced and walked over the years in Pat’s memory.”