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F-M community comes together for final ‘Pat’s Pavement Pounder’

Community members walk and run in the final Pat's Pavement Pounder, a benefit for cancer research and care in memory of Patrick Cole, on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Fayetteville-Manlius High School track. Pat's mother, Jane Forstadt, and step-father, Cliff, are seen carrying the banner.

Community members walk and run in the final Pat's Pavement Pounder, a benefit for cancer research and care in memory of Patrick Cole, on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Fayetteville-Manlius High School track. Pat's mother, Jane Forstadt, and step-father, Cliff, are seen carrying the banner. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— Hundreds of community members lined up today at the Fayetteville-Manlius High School track to walk and run in the twelfth and final Pat’s Pavement Pounder, which benefits childhood cancer research and treatment in memory of Patrick Cole. Pat died in 2001 at age 16 after a 20-month-long battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, a fast-moving cancer of the soft tissue. He was a freshman at F-M High School when he was diagnosed in 1999.

“Patrick’s spirit has been with us well over 12 years, and it will continue to be with us,” said Jane Forstadt, mother of Pat, to participants gathered at the starting line. “Everything has a beginning and an end, and although the Pavement Pounder is coming to an end, Patrick’s place in our heart continues. We will always be grateful for the generosity of spirit of our family, many friends, our phenomenal F-M community as well as local businesses who rallied to join the fight against childhood cancer that was so important to Patrick.”

Gloria Kennedy, a doctor at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, said the benefit has raised more than $132,000 for children’s cancer care and research at the hospital’s Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders and distributed $10,000 in F-M scholarships for the Patrick Cole Courage Award.

“Further funds will go to the Upstate cancer center now being built to name a nurse’s station in the pediatric unit in honor of Patrick,” Kennedy said.

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