A lot has changed since 2002, when Marnie Rose, M.D., was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 27. For starters, The Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation has contributed more than $2.4 million to immunotherapy research, drug development and five brain cancer clinical trials at MD Anderson. Moreover, for the first time in 50 years, the prognosis is changing for brain cancer patients, due in part to medical advances made possible by the foundation’s support.
The first Run for the Rose 5K in 2003 included one or two brain cancer survivors. At the 11th annual event in April, almost 80 survivors participated. Marnie lived with the disease for a year and a half. Today, patients are living three times longer than that. Lanie Rose, Marnie’s mother, says she wishes Marnie could see all of the promising new developments in the fight against the disease that took her life.
“Marnie would be pleased that we’ve been able to help so many people,” Rose says. “We really are following her life’s mission, which is to help all patients. Marnie was a pediatrician, so she’d be thrilled, particularly with the ways we’ve benefited children.”
Since 2003, Run for the Rose’s fundraising efforts have grown from $90,000 and 1,800 participants to approximately $500,000 and 5,000 participants in 2013.
“We started with my son’s worrying that it would just be the four of us there,” Rose recalls. “We’re just so grateful to Houston. People turn out for our run in droves, and it’s a wonderful feeling to know so many people support us.”
The Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation has raised more than $3.5 million for MD Anderson and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, where Marnie was a resident. This year, the foundation will give $350,000 of the race’s net proceeds to support MD Anderson’s brain cancer research.