WHILE SOME WHO saw the New Year in last weekend were nursing aching heads on New Year’s Day, John Cioffoletti was nursing an aching foot.
All in all, however, it was a small price to pay for having achieved the goal he set for himself last September, when he vowed to run an ultra-marathon on New Year’s Eve to raise money for the family of a young friend who is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Cioffoletti, who is CIO of Royal Sovereign Bullion Group in Sea Bright, vowed to run the Peanut Island 24 in Palm Beach County, Fl., setting the personal goal of completing 60 miles in 24 hours.
In the end, he exceeded that goal, running a total of 82 miles and raising $11,000, all of which will go to the family of Justin Condoluci, 12, to help with expenses related to his treatment.
Diagnosed at the age of 8, Justin underwent more than three years of treatment before doctors determined that his Leukemia was in remission.
But near Christmas of 2010, Justin experienced a relapse. He has been undergoing additional treatment since Christmas Day, 2010 and is presently having more chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia..
Approximately 55 people entered the Peanut Island 24, but far fewer were able to finish. “Not many people made it as far as I did, “said Cioffoletti, adding that his foot began to bother him at mile 55, but he continued on, reminding himself that the battle Justin faces every day is a much more formidable challenge.
When the idea began to enter his head that he should stop running, Cioffoletti said, he reminded himself that “Someone like Justin doesn’t have that option. The miles between mile 55 and mile 82 were the hardest. “That’s when I had to really dig deep. It was the thought of Justin (that kept him going).”
He is grateful that so many people donated to his effort, Cioffoletti said, adding that approximately $700 in donations came in immediately after the first story on his run appeared in The Two River Times in December.
While he had hoped to raise $25,000, he succeeded in raising $11,000 and that will definitely be of help to the family.
. “People think, oh, you have health insurance,” Amy Condoluci said in an interview with The Two River Times last month. “Well, we do, but the deductible is $10,000 per year, and this has been going on for five years.”
Commuting costs between Philadelphia and their home in Brielle have also mounted. “It’s definitely added up,” said Amy.
Donations are still being accepted for Running for Justin may be made via the web at www.runningforjustin.org or through http://www.everibbon.com. And more information is available on the RunforJustin Facebook page, Cioffoletti said. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Condoluci family.