This is my sixth year of participation in the Race for Hope, the largest event raising funds for brain tumor research and support. I've run as a committed ally, as one with affected acquaintances, but not as one with a strong personal connection to the cause. Imagine my shock last summer when my own mother was diagnosed with ... a brain tumor.
Fortunately hers proved to be a meningioma, a common and typically benign tumor. She'll need monitoring periodically, and the surgery and aftereffects were no walk in the park, but we all feel very fortunate. Now I know something more about the emotions and fears of families who hear that scary sentence "we found something." Now, it's really personal.
Brain tumors are under-researched (due to lack of funding) and often fatal. The Race for Hope - DC raises funds to support innovative research initiatives and support services for brain tumor patients and their families. Proceeds benefit the National Brain Tumor Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2).
I won't be able to travel to DC this year due to family commitments but plan to do a 5k walk/run locally on the race day, in solidarity with my team. Last year many generous people contributed to my personal team, and though I'm getting a late start I wanted to share the need once again.
I'm running in honor of my mom, and in support of nine-year-old Kate McRae of California, currently battling the disease (and at the moment, showing clean scans). I also run in memory of Marissa, the young daughter of an acquaintance, who succumbed to glioma; Salvatore Gannello, a church friend who died in 2012 from an aggressive glioblastoma; and Adam Cook, a good and brave man who battled the disease for more than a decade before he passed on the eve of the 2009 race.
Thank you for your support in helping to find a cure for brain tumors! All contributions to the Race for Hope are 100% tax-deductible.