Briella TomassettiFeb 11, 2018, 8:09 pmFeb 12, 2018, 4:32 pm

Bay Shore man steps up to raise money for cancer research in Mardi Gras Run

Greg Lanning is on a mission to raise $13,500 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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BAY SHORE — Many runners are braving the rain at the inaugural Mardi Gras Run simply for the fun of it. But Greg Lanning of Bay Shore is running to raise awareness for Luis Mendez, 4, who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer last August.

"Thirteen thousand-five hundred dollars is my commitment to the Dana-Farber Institute for cancer research," Lanning said.

Lanning works in the Nassau County Sheriff's Department, and Luis is his partner's son who is suffering from diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. The brain tumor is extremely aggressive and difficult to treat with a low survival rate. Lanning has already raised nearly $10,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute with high hopes that the funds will help find a cure for the disease. The Mendez family travels to Mexico for monthly treatments that cost roughly $20,000 apiece. Now, Lanning says they are in desperate need of a miracle.

"They need the help; they're humbled by it. They didn't ask for it in the beginning, but everybody pitched in because it's the right thing to do," Lanning said.

After the Mardi Gras Run, he’s heading to the Boston Marathon in April to continue raising money for Luis and other children who have been diagnosed with DIPG.

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