Across America on Sunday, thousands of people are joining in a National Walk to End Brain Cancer.
It’s part of a month-long effort to promote awareness and fund research, a movement spurred just two years ago when former Gov. Corzine established the month of May as Brain Tumor Awareness Month.
This fledgling awareness movement is still working to bring information to the public about a cancer affecting more than 359,000 people in the United States.
Kristen Gillette, founder and president of The Kortney Rose Foundation, began the pursuit to get a month named for Brain Tumor Awareness after her 9-year-old Kortney died after only a four-month battle with a brain tumor. The non-profit foundation was begun to help other children through the promise of research in Kortney’s memory.
“Most people don’t know this month exists or the prevalence of brain tumors,” Gillette said. “It’s imperative to bring awareness to the public to highlight the plight of brain tumor patients and their need for more research funding needed to find better treatments and ultimately cures.”
Approximately 17,000 malignant tumors of the brain or spinal cord are diagnosed each year in the United States of which about 3,500 are in children. Brain tumors can occur at any age, but studies show that they are most common among children from three to 12 years of age, and adults from 40 to 70 years of age. Only 33 percent of patients diagnosed with brain cancer will survive five years. During 2010, new cases of brain/nervous system cancer numbered 22,020 in the United States.
Brain tumors strike men, women, and children of any race, at any age. Symptoms of a brain tumor may include: headaches, seizures, cognitive or personality changes, eye weakness, nausea, speech disturbances, or memory loss. There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors, which is one reason why treating them is so difficult.
To learn more, visit the National Cancer Institute’s website www.cancer.gov , The Kortney Rose Foundation www.thekortneyrosefoundation.org, or National Brain Tumor Society www.getyourheadinthegame.org.