A bunch of marathon finisher's medals lying on certificate. Race running medals from marathon on blue background.
May 11, 2021 By Erika R. Whitehead

The 4th Annual MRFJ 5K Kicks Off This September

The fourth annual Mesothelioma Race for Justice (MRFJ) will take place virtually this September!  Participants will have the entire month to walk or run the race. The 5K will conclude on Friday, September 24. We will host a Facebook Live celebration honoring our participants, sponsors and vendors on Saturday, September 25!

The eagerly awaited race serves as a tribute to National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The event will raise money for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

The Meso Foundation is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit foundations dedicated to eradicating the life-ending effects of mesothelioma and was founded in 1999 by former executive director Christopher Hahn. The organization features a network of patients, families, physicians, advocates and researchers who have been instrumental in awarding over $10.2 million to global projects.

“After five years of working with the foundation, I have met so many incredible people who have strength that I have never seen before,” says Mirela Kopier, founder and director of the race. “Some of these people have lost their fight, and I feel it is my duty to honor them and raise as much money as possible so we stop losing these incredible people.”

Last year, the race transitioned to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 100 runners and walkers participated nationwide, raising $12,600 for mesothelioma research. 

“Mesothelioma is a horrible disease, and even though it is an uncommon cancer, people who are affected by it deserve research dollars to find a cure and better treatments,” Kopier says. “Last year, it was a bit of a challenge to transition to a virtual race. In the end, we knew perfecting the virtual component would add so much value to the race even when we go back to in person.”

Proceeds from the first annual MRFJ exceeded $6,300, and the amount doubled to over $15,000 the following year. Kopier is looking forward to continuing the MRFJ tradition this year by encouraging everyone to register and participate with those they love.

“With a bigger team aspect and fundraising component, I hope people get a bigger sense of community even though the race is virtual,” Kopier said.

This will be Kopier’s fourth time directing the race. What began as a fun, new way to raise money for a worthy cause has become an annual staple for Vogelzang Law.

“It has been a joy and a blessing to see so many people be a part of it,” Kopier attests.

There is still plenty of time to register! Click the link to register today: https://bit.ly/3bQBCwM

Have questions about this year’s race? Please feel free to contact race director, Mirela Kopier, by phone at (312) 872-8454 or by email at mkopier@mesotheliomaraceforjustice.com.