Mullica Township residents are stepping up for a Little League coach battling abdominal mesothelioma, a cancer diagnosed in fewer than 500 people a year in the U.S.

Steve Kaenzig, 44, a self-employed father of four children ages 10 to 21, has been unable to work for three months. He didn’t tell anyone about his health problems until after baseball season ended in June and he was headed to surgery, said friend Kelly Capaldi, of Mullica.

“He didn’t want anybody feeling sorry for them,” she said.

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The 12-hour surgery left him weak, but he recently spent a day at the ocean with family and friends.

“It was nice to see him on the beach with a little color and appetite back,” she said.

Kaenzig’s wife, Linda, is a cafeteria worker at Cedar Creek High School in Egg Harbor City. Her friend Lisa Stevens, of Mullica, contacted the Elwood Volunteer Fire Company, and now the family is a beneficiary of the William Kennedy Memorial Golf Tournament on Oct. 6.

Mullica coach Jerry Gleason and his wife, Karen, are working on getting donations and sponsors. Mullica teachers are donating desserts, principals Kevin Dugan and Matt Mazzoni are playing golf, and Superintendent Brenda Harring-Marro has donated a basket to auction.

Run for the Fallen

A hero marker for Southern Regional High School graduate and Army Cpl. Kareem Khan will be among more than 170 set up statewide during this weekend’s NJ Run for the Fallen.

Khan, a 2005 graduate of Southern Regional, was killed in action in Iraq in 2007.

Khan’s family will be at the site of his marker — on Route 9 by the high school in Stafford Township — to greet runners and welcome supporters from 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Teams of active-duty military will run one mile for every New Jersey service member killed in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. The 172-mile run will begin Friday at the Cape May Lighthouse and end Sunday at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel, Monmouth County.

Runners will take off for Saturday’s leg at 6:40 a.m. from Veterans Park in Somers Point, at the marker for Army Pvt. Anthony J. Sausto, who was killed in 2007 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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