For the 10th straight year, Alexandria resident Pat Malone will stand up to cancer for 24 hours straight starting Saturday, Feb. 10, at Fire Works Pizza in Arlington.
The event starts at 4:26 p.m. Saturday and ends the same time on Sunday. That’s the time that Malone remembers waking up from surgery to remove a hockey puck-sized cancerous malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor from his shoulder at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Over those 24 hours, Malone won’t sit down.
“I stand up for 24 hours because there are people that you and I and everybody know who are suffering through cancer and can’t stand up,” Malone told ALXnow. “We need to win the war against cancer with medical breakthroughs. You can give a donation of $20 or $2,000, and 100% of the donations goes straight to the front lines of this literal battle.”
The 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran underwent dozens of radiation treatments in 2014 and has been cancer-free ever since. Later, he conducted his first fundraiser with the nonprofit Stand Up To Cancer and estimates raising more than $100,000 over the years.
Malone, 66, also suffers from hereditary spastic paraplegia and is slowly losing his ability to walk. He said that standing for a full day in the restaurant, which is owned by his family, is the most physically exhausting activity that he does every year.
“By hour 12, at around 4:26 a.m. is when I really start to feel it,” Malone said. “All the staff have gone home and I’ll watch ESPN on the big screen TV until they start coming back at around 9 a.m. It gets exasperating at about the 20-hour mark. It’s so intense, but then in that last hour between 3:26 and 4:26, friends start showing up and the countdown starts and it gets easier.”
Malone will dedicate the money raised to the medical teams at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir’s Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center.
Fifty percent of men and about 33% of women will get cancer in their lifetimes, according to The National Cancer Institute.
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