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Family Carries On Late Saddle River Runner’s Legacy Of Giving Back

Susan Zabransky Hughes, pictured with her husband Bob, passed away from cervical cancer.
Susan Zabransky Hughes, pictured with her husband Bob, passed away from cervical cancer. Photo Credit: Zabransky family
Susan Zabranski Hughes' family gathered at a run in her honor.
Susan Zabranski Hughes' family gathered at a run in her honor. Photo Credit: Zabransky family

SADDLE RIVER, N.J. – Susan Zabransky Hughes of Saddle River loved to run and loved to give back.

“She ran the New York Marathon three times, and all were for cancer support,” said Megan Zabransky, of Mahwah, Susan’s friend and cousin by marriage.

When Susan lost her two-year battle with cervical cancer at 46, her family knew they had to carry on her legacy.

“The Zabransky family really wanted to honor her passions for giving back and for running, and find a way to do that that would benefit others,” Megan said.

Together with Hackensack University Medical Center, where Susan was treated, the family launched the inaugural Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial Run in 2011. The funds raised from the first event went to create a special emergency room for cancer patients at the hospital.

Six years later, the annual run is still going strong, and hundreds of people are expected to participate in this year’s event.

The proceeds from the sixth annual run will be used to fund a scholarship at the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine as well as two weeks of camp at Pony Power Therapies in Mahwah -- where Zabransky regularly volunteered -- for patients from Hackensack University Medical Center’s Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital.

Megan said it is humbling to see so many people come out year after year.

“It is awe-inspiring to see all these people who not only want to run but who prioritize giving back and want to run for a great cause,” she said.

She also said she feels “very, very grateful” that her employer, CommandCare, and its affiliate Berkeley College are title sponsors of the event.

“To be employed by a company that places such importance on philanthropy and giving back is really wonderful,” she said.

The run is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 29. It will start and end at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 96 E. Allendale Road, in Saddle River. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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