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Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues:
I will be participating in the Race for Hope - DC 5K Run/Walk presented by Cassidy Turley being held on May 4. The Race for Hope - DC is a fun and inspirational event, and supports the National Brain Tumor Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure in their quest to find a cure for brain tumors. The fight against brain tumors is personal for me, which is why I am taking part in the Race.
My friend, John Gregory, was diagnosed with brain cancer in October 2012, then was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma in March 2013. John lost his battle to cancer a few months later on June 3, 2013. During John's journey, it was evident that the treatment options available for brain cancer patients were not as advanced as those with Metastatic Melanoma which involved gene targeted therapy and immunotherapy. When discussing treatment options for his brain tumor, he was left with traditional radiation and chemotherapy. Although John did not die of brain cancer, we will continue the fight to find a cure so that others like John will defeat this disease and continue their lives as brain tumor survivors.
When John was diagnosed with melanoma, he could not breathe and was dependent on oxygen. He was unable to stand and walk on his own and was given only a few days to live. John tested positive for a specific gene mutation which enabled him to take a gene therapy drug which gave us 10 more weeks. In those weeks, he had a miraculous recovery – he was able to breathe on his own, work his way up to walking for 3 miles around the neighborhood, see his son, Alexander turn 5 on Easter Sunday, walk in Race for Hope as a brain tumor survivor, recognized as a top fundraising team (8th overall as Team PMA) and take his children to Disney World for their last family vacation. The advancements that have been made to treat Melanoma and other cancers must also be made available for brain cancer patients.
In John’s memory, we will continue the fight as Team PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). Team PMA is being led by John's wife, Aileen. Aileen, their daughter Adison (8) and their son Alexander (5) will be participating in the race and Adison will run the 5K in its entirety in memory of her father. Last year, Team PMA raised over $34,000 so Aileen has increased our team goal to $40,000 but we need your help.
Team PMA is teaming with Team DC, led by my friend Charity Yanishak. Charity's husband, Drew, who had courageously been fighting brain cancer for over 6 years passed away this February. Drew was a good friend of mine from JMU. This year will definitely be an emotional one for both Team PMA and Team DC, but let's keep the fight going and honor John and Drew.
I am asking you to please make a donation. Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference in the lives of brain tumor patients. It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause - you can make your donation online by simply clicking on donate button on this page.
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