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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students organize brain tumor walk

    In an effort to widen brain tumor research and increase awareness, two UA students have organized the first annual Supporting Brain Tumor Research Tucson Walkathon, taking place tomorrow.

    “”I don’t know anyone personally affected by brain tumors, but I was really moved at how much of a difference students can make,”” said Lindsey Erlick, a business sophomore who helped organize the event. “”Sometimes students think they don’t really have a voice and that they can’t have an impact on such a big issue, but you really can. By students coming out and joining us, they can be a part of a movement where students are making a difference.””

    Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) was founded in 2002, shortly after three students from the Paradise Valley School District died from brain tumors, according Erlick.

    Brain tumors took the lives of 13,070 people in 2008, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in young adults ages 20 to 39, according to the National Cancer Institute.

    “”It’s a terrific event. Any effort to eradicate this problem is needed,”” said Sara Hammond, public affairs director at the Arizona Cancer Center. “”It’s important to help others and to get the community involved, especially when it targets your age group. It’s the first time this event is brought to campus and I think it has a lot of potential.””

    The students, who have been working since the summer to bring this event to campus, hope to have 300-500 participants at the event, but more importantly, they hope to inspire others to help make a difference.

    “”We need to raise awareness, because this is something that affects college students and I don’t think most people realize that,”” said Shannon Timms, a pre-business sophomore and organizer of the event.

    Timms became involved with brain tumor research in high school after her friend passed away from a brain tumor.

    According to the National Cancer Institute, there have been 21,810 new cases of brain tumors in the past year.

    “”I was taken back by how prominent this disease is. Almost every one we talked to knew someone that is affected by brain cancer,”” said Timms.

    The Phoenix SSBTR Walkathon raised $7,500 its first year. Just a few years later, they reached the $100,000 mark, according to Erlick.

    With the debut of the Tucson walkathon, Timms and Erlick hope the community and campus will help support this cause.

    “”Students can help by participating in the Walkathon, pledging for a walker, or even making a donation,”” said Timms.

    According to the students, 95 percent of the proceeds are going straight to brain tumor research.

    “”We’re trying to donate as much as we can to the cause. We’ve gotten a lot of support, it took a lot of work but it’s worth it,”” said Timms.

    The proceeds will go to the national nonprofit Brain Tumor Society, the Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Translational Genomic Research Institute.

    “”Even though we tried to make this a really fun event for everyone, we really want to make sure it’s focused on the cause,”” said Timms.

    The walkathon will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the UA Mall. Admission is $10, which will go directly to brain tumor research.

    “”It’s a great way to show your support,”” said Timms. “”It doesn’t really take that much to make a difference in the community, just by walking and being there you can help.””

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