Brain cancer will once again meet its match this April as patients, supporters and family members converge for the 13th Annual Run for the Rose to raise awareness and funds benefiting Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The run will be held at NRG Park on Sunday, April 12. It supports pediatric health initiatives, including but not exclusive to brain cancer, at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, as well as MD Anderson’s immunotherapy research, new drug development and clinical trials for patients with brain cancer.
“Dr. Marnie Rose had such a loving, caring spirit,” said Susie Distefano, CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “She left a lasting impression on every individual with whom she came into contact. We are honored and privileged to be able to join together with our colleagues at MD Anderson to celebrate her legacy every year through such a wonderful event as Run for the Rose.”
Run for the Rose honors Marnie Rose, MD. Rose was 27 years old and in the first year of her pediatric medical residency at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital when she was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Despite her diagnosis, she agreed to share her cancer journey, personal life and professional duties as a medical resident with a TV crew from the ABC reality series “Houston Medical” in 2002. Rose died on Aug. 23, 2002 from cancer complications, just five weeks after the show’s final episode aired.
"One night, many years ago, I happened to tune in to ‘Houston Medical.’ Dr. Rose was at work at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and was wearing a scarf on her head from chemo,” said Sophie Rydin, a primary sponsor of the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation and co-owner of Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, Inc. “In this particular episode, she had an appointment with her oncologist who gave her some bad news on-camera. The raw emotion of the moment impacted me so much; I found myself crying with her. Brain cancer cut her life short, and I made a pledge that I would support the foundation from then on – on a corporate and a personal level – as a way to give back to the community. What started as personal involvement has now become a company mission.”
Marnie’s parents, Jerry and Lanie, organized the inaugural race in 2003 to honor their daughter’s memory and encourage other patients facing a similar diagnosis. At the first few races only a few brain tumor survivors participated. However, last year’s run hosted more than 5,000 participants, including 80 survivors, who return each year due to medical advances funded in part by the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation. To date, the wildly successful events have raised more than $4 million.
“It’s our goal to do everything we can to prevent other families from having a loved one taken too soon,” Lanie Rose said. “We try to incorporate Marnie’s passion and dedication into every aspect of Run for the Rose. Our success is a reflection of the loyal support and generosity of the people of Texas and beyond. They register, they donate and they volunteer year after year. We are so grateful.”
"The partnership between our Brain Tumor Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation has been vitally important,” said Dr. Raymond Sawaya, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at MD Anderson. “For over 10 years now, we have been able to fund innovative clinical and translational research that has resulted in advances in treatments and survival benefits for a number of our patients. Some of this research could not get external funding and therefore would not have been possible without the contributions of the foundation. Our entire program is indebted to the extraordinary efforts of Lanie Rose and her team, and our appreciation could not be sufficiently expressed in words.”
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 23,000 new cases of brain cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2015 and more than 15,000 people will die as a result.
Run for the Rose is a certified 5K race/walk; other race-day activities include a 1K family run/walk and a post-race party at NRG Arena for participants.
2015 sees the introduction of the Survivor Stroll, prior to the 5K, where all brain cancer survivors will walk a short distance at 8 a.m. in front of the rest of the run participants. The 5K immediately follows the Survivor Stroll at 8:15 a.m.
Awards will be given to male and female 5K participants who finish first, as well as the top three male and female finishers in specific-age categories. To be eligible for an award, participants must be registered for the timed 5K Run. All wheelchair finishers will receive an award.
Registration for Run for the Rose is $35 per adult for the competitive run, $30 per adult for the noncompetitive run and walk, $15 for children ages 12 and under for the competitive run, and $12 for children ages 12 and under for the noncompetitive run and walk.