Brain cancer survivors participate in marathon


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalists J.P. HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

Posted on May 18, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Updated Saturday, May 18 at 11:03 PM

AUSTIN  -- It was your average Saturday morning at Lady Bird Lake with the trail full with people walking and running.

But among the runners were nine brain cancer and brain tumor survivors on a mission.

"This is something most brain cancer survivors are not able to do on their own, complete a marathon, so this is a big step," said Kelly Bolinger, Founder of the Brain Power 5K.

The survivors ran 26.2 miles, a full marathon, relay style with each person completing between two and five miles. When they weren't talking, they were sharing their stories.

Aimee Black suffered from a benign brain tumor.

"I discovered it on Christmas Eve of 2002 and I was 4 months pregnant with my first child. I was having headaches that weren't going away," Black said. "Went in and had a CAT scan and there was a tumor right between my eyes."

Three months after she gave birth, the tumor burst. Doctors surgically removed it.

"I've lost my sense of smell, but that's okay," Black said laughing, "I know who I am, I know my kids, I have all my memories. I can handle not smelling."

Along side of her is brain cancer survivor Hud Gregory.

"I was having bad, bad headaches," said Gregory, "so I went to the emergency room. They did a scan and they told me I had a spot...And he said I advise surgery. Best to get that sucker out of your head. That's what we did."

Gregory has been in remission for 15 years.

"I have seizures as a result of the tumor, but outside of that I don't have any complaints, life's a dream," added Gregory. 

A dream with a clear purpose. Not to run a marathon, but to raise awareness about underfunded brain cancer research.

"Once you are diagnosed, the prognosis goes pretty fast to bad unfortunately," said Bolinger. "In other cancers there's just a few different types of tumors but with 120 different types, you've got lots of work to do."

"I survived this thing in my head and not a lot of people do," Black added, "let's find out how to make the survival rate higher. That's what I'm here for."

Saturday's first ever Brain Power-Thon is the precursor to the 3rd annual Brain Power 5K on September 8, 2013 at Williamson County Regional Park. The race has raised $90,000 in the first two years. A start for the survivors who say they won't stop until brain cancer is cured.

Click here or more information on the Brain Power 5K. 


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