Making great strides
Fun runs raise money, awareness for colorectal, brain and ovarian cancers
Sprint for Life
MD Anderson’s Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Sprint for Life 5K Run/Walk with more than 2,500 participants. Their goal: to build awareness about ovarian cancer and raise funds for research.
The May 5 event included a 1K Sprint for Sprouts and a breakfast and reception for 78 ovarian cancer survivors and their loved ones. It raised more than $468,000, with an additional $150,000 of in-kind donations.
The event funded two $50,000 research awards that were presented on race day. Recipients were Alpa Nick, M.D., for circulating tumor cells in ovarian cancer, and Yuexin Liu, Ph.D., for predicting therapy response in ovarian cancer.
“Because of our supporters we met our goals, and our fight against ovarian cancer is stronger than ever,” says Pamela Weems, program manager of community relations and development.
Since inception, the event has raised more than $3.6 million for the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program at MD Anderson.
“Sprint for Life enables us to continue desperately needed research to make significant strides in eradicating ovarian cancer,” says program director Anil Sood, M.D., professor in the departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine and Cancer Biology.
Kelli and Eddy Scurlock Blanton Sr., Lee Davis and Gayle Goodman served as event chairs.
Presenting sponsors included the Sandra G. Davis family, Gayle Goodman and Ken Adam; HCC Insurance Holdings Inc.; Randalls; the Scurlock Foundation; and The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation.
Sprint for Colorectal Oncology Prevention and Education, or SCOPE, set a record this year with 1,939 participants.
The seventh annual 5K run/walk began at MD Anderson’s Lowry and Peggy Mays Clinic on March 24 and included a 1K children’s walk for kids 12 and under.
An after-race party and Survivors Fair offered food, games, live music and information about cancer awareness and support groups.
Founded by MD Anderson’s Kimberly Tripp and Cathy Eng, M.D., SCOPE has raised more than $100,000, increased screening efforts and raised awareness for colorectal cancer.
The number of SCOPE participants increases each year, says Eng, an associate professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at MD Anderson.
“We hope the race raises awareness of the importance of screening,” says Eng, “because this cancer is mostly preventable.”
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Run for the Rose
More than 4,500 brain cancer survivors, patients, families and friends gathered at Houston’s Reliant Park March 25 for the 10th annual Run for the Rose.
The 5K race, 1K family run/walk and post-race party support the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation in raising awareness for brain cancer and funding adult brain cancer research at MD Anderson. The event also funds pediatric brain cancer research at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, where Marnie Rose, M.D., was a resident when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 27.
“At the time of Marnie’s diagnosis, brain cancer was under-recognized and underfunded,” says founder Lanie Rose, Marnie’s mother. “We knew we had to raise awareness for the valuable, increasingly young lives that it was taking.”
This year, the foundation exceeded its goal, raising more than $500,000 for research and initiatives. Proceeds from 2012 bring total donations to nearly $3 million since 2002.
The event also supports immunotherapy research at MD Anderson, drug development and clinical trials for brain cancer patients and neuroscience research and the pediatric palliative care program at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
For more information, visit the Run for the Rose website.