What is all this?
I dress up like an idiot at road races & fun runs in exchange for donations to fight pancreatic cancer. Specifically, I run for the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research at their annual LA Cancer Challenge. My previous costumes have been Batman, Spider-man, Donatello of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Flash, Wolverine, Darkwing Duck, Oscar the Grouch, and Snoopy.
2018’s costume is KERMIT THE FROG (finally)! Read all about the 2018 event here.
Is this a different charity than the one you used to fundraise for?
Yes, I used to run PurpleStride events hosted by PanCAN. After the last event I ran with them in 2014, I became aware of some things about the charity I don’t really like (coughCancer Treatment Centers of America sponsorshipcough) and found a better pancreatic cancer research charity to support.
Since 2016 I’ve run the LA Cancer Challenge. This race is organized by and directly benefits the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. They started out by funding two projects at UCLA and now fund a whole bunch of other stuff. They also provide aid grants to patients.
Hirshberg is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so your donations are still tax deductible.
Are you still running in memory of the same people as before?
Yes, except this stupid disease keeps killing more people, so now I’m running in memory of even more people (see below). Give me money so this stops happening.
Do you get a cut of this money?
Nope, not a penny. I pay for my race registration, all the costume pieces, and all the Batfrog Christmas cards out of my own pocket. I did join the LACC’s volunteer planning committee in 2017, but the word “volunteer” should tell you exactly how much that pays. (It’s $0.)
History of Batfrog Walkin’ for Cancer
This fundraising effort started in 2010 when I decided to participate in PanCAN’s PurpleStride South Bay fun run (which is now a full-blown 5k held in Los Angeles). At the time, almost everyone I knew was in college – pretty much the definition of broke. To convince my friends to part with their disposable income, I decided to add a little entertainment: raise a few hundred dollars and I’ll run the course in a Batman mask.
It was a success: since 2010, the Batfrog campaign has raised over $7,000 for pancreatic cancer research. Not bad for a bunch of broke college kids and post-grads.
How does this costume thing work?
Each year, $1000 guarantees that I run the 5k in a full costume. All donations beyond $1000 will count toward bonus costume items, like duck foot shoe covers or a Slimey the Worm accessory.
Do you run the entire 5k in costume?
I run or walk the entire length of the 5k course in costume. My pace is determined by how many costume pieces I have on and how restrictive they are.
Who’s Batfrog, then?
In the winter of 2008, I changed my Facebook profile picture to a photo of Kermit the Frog dressed as Batman, affectionately referred to as Batfrog. I thought I’d use it just for fun while I transitioned from one school to another. It ended up becoming a running joke and I left it up for almost 2 years. Naturally, it seemed like a no-brainer to make him my pseudo-mascot when I started doing these walks. But why photoshop each year’s costume onto Batfrog? Before Batfrog became my mascot, I would occasionally photoshop him for various holidays and occasions. You can see a few examples in the gallery of Batfrog Through the Years.
Why is it “walking for cancer” and not “walking against cancer” or “walking to fight cancer?”
It is what it is. Shut up.
How come you’ve gone as Batman before but not Kermit the Frog?
Aha! Finally I will be running as Kermit the Frog in 2018! So you can stop asking this question!
Why pancreatic cancer research?
My dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2003 and passed away on December 23, 2003. Yes, you read that correctly: he lived barely six months after his diagnosis. Sadly, that’s not an uncommon story with pancreatic cancer. Ten years on, the five year survival rate is still just 7%.
I also run for my parish priest, Fr. Michael Lewis of St. Luke’s in Garden Grove, who lost his battle with the disease in August 2011; my great uncle E.J. Schreiber; my friends’ grandfather Russell Roseberry; industry colleague Bob Weitkamp; and my friend’s dad George Jaeger.
How can I donate?
Can I register on your team and run with you?
HELL YES. Click here to join my fundraising team, Team Superweirdos! Your registration fee counts towards our team total. I use the team total to determine which costume reward level we’ve reached, so your dollars still count.
What do I get for making a donation?
Oh my friend, many great things.
- The almighty sense of self-satisfaction.
- The joy of seeing me in a dumb costume.
- Lots of crazy pictures from race day.
- A Batfrog Christmas card.
What is the Batfrog Christmas card?
If you donate, be sure to include an accurate mailing address so I can send your thank you card. I promise it will feature the funniest, most embarrassing photo from the big day that’s been saved exclusively for donors. (Or, I do a separate costume photo shoot for extra hilarity. I have big plans for 2018.) Now that I run a race on Halloween weekend, the thank you card arrives about a month after the race and doubles as a festive holiday greeting from your old pal Batfrog.
All donations are tax deductible. Donations made no later than 36 hours prior to the event will be counted towards the costume level total. And of course, thank you for supporting pancreatic cancer research!