2019 Los Angeles Steps to Save Lives

2019 Los Angeles Steps to Save Lives (#SAVELIVESLA5K)
Esophageal Cancer Action Network

About 2019 LA Steps to Save Lives: Esophageal Cancer Action Network

Take Steps to Save Lives at our 5K Run/Walk on December 8, 2019 in LA's Griffith Park.

Don't miss our 2nd Annual Los Angeles event featuring a live DJ, pre-race warm-up & stretch, a professional announcer, one-of-a-kind ECAN event gear.

To make sure everyone gets the most out of their 5K experience, ECAN has adapted the popular Couch to 5K training program. We'll be with you every step of the way as you prepare for the event. Whether it's your first 5K or you haven't run in a while - we have a plan and a community to support you as you get ready!

We promise an amazing time with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and other charitable individuals like yourself who are willing to take STEPS to SAVE LIVES!

View the Course Map Here

Meet our LA Steps to Save Lives 2019 Co-Chairs
Monica twitchell and mervyn rudgley

Originally from the UK, Mervyn Rudgley has led a colorful life. He went to university to become a mechanical engineer in Manchester and later moved to the United States. Mervyn’s health was good and he ran 5k races on a regular basis. In 2014, after years of acid indigestion he told his doctor that he often struggled to swallow large pills and occasionally choked when eating. An upper endoscopy revealed that Mervyn had Barrett’s Esophagus, a precancerous condition that is the precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma. His doctor told him to return for a repeat endoscopy in three years. When he returned in May of 2017, Mervyn was diagnosed with Stage I Esophageal Adenocarcinoma.

Because of the early stage of the disease, no chemo or radiotherapy was required, but an immediate esophagectomy and gastric pull-up was performed in June 2017. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse. Within a couple of days, a portion of his stomach had died, ruptured in his chest cavity and he suffered a pulmonary embolism and collapsed lung. After emergency surgery, three weeks later, he finally returned home with a feeding tube and ostomy bag on the side of his neck. This formerly energetic runner was unable to take any food by mouth and could barely walk a distance of 50 feet.

After a slow recovery aided by the constant support of his wife Monica, by the fall of 2017, though he still could not eat, Mervyn was able to walk 5k. Doctors attempted to reconstruct his digestive system with a colon interposition. Unfortunately, a leak developed where the portion of colon had been removed. After another prolonged stay in the hospital, Mervyn went home with an IV feed and Monica’s constant care.

Finally, in late November 2017, Mervyn ate his first bite of food in 5 months. Since then, his health has improved, though he struggles to maintain a healthy weight. Last year, Monica and Mervyn ran the Steps to Save Lives Los Angeles 5k, and completed the course non-stop, winning medals in their respective categories. This year they are co-chairing the event, and hope that their story will motivate others and drive awareness that heartburn can cause cancer.


Starts at:  December 8, 2019 10:30 AM
Ends at:  December 8, 2019 2:00 PM


Griffith Park
4730 Crystal Springs Dr
Los Angeles,CA USA



Every Step You Take

ECAN’s mission is to Save Lives
  • by increasing awareness that Heartburn can cause Cancer,
  • by promoting early detection,
  • by supporting medical innovation to prevent, detect, treat and cure Esophageal Cancer and
  • by linking patients and families to compassionate support.

Esophageal Cancer is the fastest increasing cancer among American men - and one of the deadliest. But it is also PREVENTABLE.
That's why we take Steps to Save Lives!