This is my 11th 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 in summer 2013 when my own mother was diagnosed with ... a brain tumor.
Fortunately hers proved to be a meningioma, a common and typically benign tumor. The surgery and aftereffects were no walk in the park, but we all feel very fortunate to have had her for several more years, until she died in 2017 of a different cause. 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).
In 2015 mom was able to attend in DC with me , and many generous people have contributed to my personal team over many years, for which I am so grateful. The need remains dire, and I'm proud to be part of a team that has exceeded a million dollars' worth of fundraising for the cause. We are eager to get on with the next million and however much more it takes until we work ourselves out of this job.
I'm participating in memory of my mom, and in support of 12-year-old Kate McRae of California, currently in remission after her third recurrence of brain cancer. I also race 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.