Samy Goldfarb was diagnosed with melanoma 15 years ago, when he was only in his early 30s. His father also had melanoma, which was detected early, and his father’s twin sister died from the skin cancer.
It runs in the family.
But for two years, Goldfarb has participated in a different kind of “run.” The annual Run From the Rays 5K.
“This charity and race is very important and meaningful to me,” Goldfarb wrote in an email.
The 5th Annual Run From the Rays is Sunday, April 23 and starts at the Spanish River Athletic Complex in Boca Raton at 7 a.m.
Goldfarb, of Boynton Beach, says that because of his family history for the cancer, he has had frequent dermatology checkups since college. “I consider myself lucky,” he said.
A triathlete, Goldfarb finds it hard to stay out of the sun when training. But he takes precautions, like training early in the morning before the sun comes up. He said when he can’t avoid the sun, he wears sunscreen, hats and even arm sleeves as an extra shield from harmful UV rays.
“I think most people think that melanoma is something that they only have to worry [about] later in life,” Goldfarb said. “Few people know that melanoma is one of the most common types of cancers for people in their 20s and 30s.”
Run From the Rays has local roots. Boca Raton residents Fran and Nathan Nachlas, a Boca Raton facial plastic surgeon, decided to help their son Jake, who was a freshman at Pine Crest High School, start a meaningful community project in 2012. The Nachlas family founded the nonprofit foundation SafeSun, recruited two more Pine Crest families to join in the charity’s mission and made sun safety a priority.
At this year’s run, there is also a 1-mile competition, which starts at 8 a.m., and a virtual run for those who can’t make it but want to donate to the cause. Race officials will mail virtual runners a T-shirt and finisher medal from the race.
The cost to participate in the 5K, which is 3.1 miles, is $30. The one-miler is $20 for adults and $15 for teens 16 and younger. And the tab for virtual runners is $30.
Event proceeds benefit selected charities through the SafeSun Foundation. The charities chosen offer screening, treatment, education and research for melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Among the past beneficiaries is Melanoma Research at Moffitt Cancer Center, which has partnered with Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Lynn Cancer Center.
Fit Foodz Café will provide runners and walkers with a post-event breakfast.