Katie Oppo Memorial 5K

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On Sunday, June 15, runners from all over Long Island came to run at the fourth annual Katie Oppo Memorial 5K. The runner first across the finish line was Michael Mariotti, general manager, owner and host of the famous local restaurant Cafe Continental.

The day was glorious as the runners and walkers began their trek through Flower Hill from the starting line at Flower Hill Park. Organizers of this year’s event made the race a USATF Certified 5K race timed by Long Island Race Timing.

The Katie Oppo Research Fund providing funding for a study of SMARCA4 mutation. Memorial Sloane Kettering’s, Dr. Douglas Levine, and his team of researchers, have identified a genetic mutation that appears to play a key role in causing the rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer: Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary–Hypercalcemic Type (SCCOHT). Dr. Levine and his team identified the SMARCA4 mutation as a contributing factor in promoting or blocking cancer growth in this rare tumor. “I don’t know of many cancers where there’s one gene that is universally mutated and seems to be driving the disease,” says Levine. His findings are reported online in the journal Nature Genetics.

Katie Oppo graduated from Manhasset High School in 2009. She was diagnosed with Stage IV hypercalcemic small cell ovarian carcinoma, a rare form of ovarian cancer, in August 2010, just prior to beginning her sophomore year at John Hopkins University. After an eight month battle, she passed away on April 11, 2011. The Katie Oppo fund continues to fund research to cure this disease. Donations can be made online at www.teamkatieoppo.org/donate.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.