Physician’s Triathlon Triumph Aids Cancer Fight

Mile by mile Dr. Suresh G. Jayatilaka challenged himself – and made a difference in the fight against breast cancer, right here in our community.

Dr. Jayatilaka, better known to his patients and colleagues as Dr. J, successfully participated in the Triathlon Sprint in White Lake, NC on Mother’s day, May 9.  His goals: raise money for activities in the local fight against breast cancer and challenge himself to better his time and physical performance.

Thanks to community donations combined with a matching gift of $2,500 from Halifax Regional Development Foundation, Dr. J raised more than $5,800.  The funds raised by Dr. J will be put toward breast cancer activities, such as providing under-insured and noninsured resident with mammograms.

“My mother died of breast cancer,” Dr. J states.  “I don’t want anybody to go through what she did.  I thought that perhaps I could be of help right here in the community in which I work.  I see a lot of cancer survivors and I am sure it is because of screening diligence.  I’d like to see a lot more.  And choosing to compete in a triathlon on Mother’s Day seemed appropriate.”

The Triathlon Sprint that Dr. J completed included a 750-meter swim, a 14-mile bike ride, and finished with a 5K run.  Dr. J completed the event in one hour, 46 minutes and 56 seconds.

“When Dr. J approached us about his idea for raising money we were very excited and very willing to help,” states Joni Henderson, executive director of the Halifax Regional Development Foundation.  “It’s been a pleasure to be part of such a note-worthy effort by Dr. J, and his effort to support breast cancer patients in our community is inspiring.”

According to Henderson, the Halifax Regional Development has followed up Dr. J’s fundraising effort by applying for a Susan G. Komen Foundation grant.  Though they are still awaiting the announcement of grant awards, Henderson indicated that any additional funds would be used for similar breast cancer-related activities in the community.

As for Dr. J, he is still challenging himself.  He completed the Buckner Mission Man Triathlon on July 24, in a time of one hour, 48 minutes and 30 seconds.  Most recently he completed the Lake Logan Triathlon on August 7.

By Olivia Epps.

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