PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Patrick Fitzgerald is a cancer survivor who doesn't remember having cancer.
Fitzgerald, a Peekskill resident, and Hendrick Hudson graduate was diagnosed with testicular carcinoma at nine months old and has been cancer free since he was three. Fitzgerald is participating in the Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium on July 15 to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
Fitzgerald is also running for his mother, who successfully battled ovarian cancer.
"This is a really great opportunity," Fitzgerald said. "I really like running 5Ks."
Not remembering his cancer battle makes Fitzgerald feel like he was one of the lucky ones.
"I never really had to know what it was like," Fitzgerald said. "I'm very blessed. I survived, but I don't feel like I'm a real survivor. So many people have to go through this terrible pain while only my parents had to deal with it."
As a result of his cancer, Fitzgerald is unable to play contact sports.
Fitzgerald said his mother's cancer battle taught him not to take things for granted.
"The human mind immediately goes to the worst case scenario," Fitzgerald said. "That's when the fear set in. I learned not to take seeing my mom every day for granted."
Fitzgerald has done an eight-mile run and also participated in a 5K in Peekskill. He said he is looking to doing more now that the weather is nicer.
He said anyone battling cancer or having a family member battle cancer should never give up hope.
"For all these tragedies, there's one great story we can learn from," Fitzgerald said. "Use that as motivation and never give up hope."
As a diehard Yankee fan, Fitzgerald still can't believe he gets to run at Yankee Stadium.
"It's crazy to think about," Fitzgerald said. "That's where Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez played. It's going to be pretty surreal. It hasn't set in yet."
For more information, visit www.runyon5k.org
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