HOUSTON, Nov. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- You may remember Dr. Marnie Rose, the 28-year-old pediatric resident at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital who became a local celebrity after revealing on the 2002 ABC reality show Houston Medical that she was battling brain cancer – and one of the deadliest of human cancers, a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Marnie wanted to make a difference by putting a human face on brain cancer to raise awareness not just of the disease itself but also of its increased incidence among young adults with no risk factors. She died as she lived—helping others.
Marnie and her parents were horrified to learn that the prognosis for brain cancer had not changed in 50 years. No money was being raised locally, and brain cancer was of little interest to drug companies. After she passed away in August 2002, Marnie's parents, Lanie and Jerry Rose, established the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, a component fund of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, in her honor. The foundation became the very first in the Greater Houston, Texas, area to hold a fundraising event that would benefit adult brain cancer research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the largest brain cancer center in the U.S. if not the world. Even though it was too late to help Marnie, the Roses wanted to help the next patients have a chance to live a normal life span.
Run for the Rose, as it is prominently known, is the foundation's annual 5K run and walk, which is held every spring at Reliant Park. Funds raised are donated to brain cancer research at MD Anderson and pediatric health initiatives, including but not exclusive to brain cancer research, at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. The tenth anniversary race netted $500,000.00 and pushed the foundation's total donations to these two hospitals over the $3 million mark.
At MD Anderson, five clinical trials have resulted directly from contributions to the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation. Funding of cutting-edge research and personalized therapy has enabled many brain tumor patients to live 5-6 years and more without recurrence and with a great quality of life. Support of new drug development brings new treatments more quickly to patients—cutting years off of the wait. The foundation literally extends lives and gives hope.
At the foundation's first few races, there were only 1 or 2 survivors. Patients did not live from one run to the next. At this year's Run for the Rose, the foundation welcomed almost 80 brain cancer survivors, many of whom have participated for a number of years. They were recognizable by special gold Hero caps.
"We see brain cancer patients living more than four times as long as Marnie did after she was diagnosed," shared Lanie Rose, founder of the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation. "They are able to advance in their careers, marry, welcome children and grandchildren, and celebrate family milestones. Our generous sponsors and supporters literally give the gift of life to these patients and then greet them at our Run. How often do donors get to see immediate results so up close and personal."
Funds also continue to benefit the brave young patients who meant so much to Marnie. At Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, in an exciting collaboration among UTHealth Medical School, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, and MD Anderson, funds are pioneering amazing new research to treat pediatric brain tumors. Each year, a Life Flight® helicopter leads off Run for the Rose reminding participants of the very ill children at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, children whose lives are greatly improved by donations raised by the race.
Grateful families of patients often ask what they can do to thank their doctors for the exceptional care they receive at MD Anderson and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. More than 5,000 people, including 150 teams, helped raise $500,000.00 in 2012. Creating a team for Run for the Rose takes very little effort yet brings such positive rewards to everyone involved. Run for the Rose welcomes the support of Neuroscience programs at all hospitals. The Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation will return to each hospital the total funds raised by its patients. The run offers all brain cancer patients and their families a place to meet and a venue where they can do something meaningful for themselves and their own doctors.
"To the teams remembering loved ones who died of brain cancer: You could have felt your work was done, but you, as Jerry and I do, return each year to fight for and to support the next patient. The kindness of our loyal supporters, most generous donors and dedicated volunteers -- many of whom have been involved for all 10 years --is greatly appreciated. We offer a special thanks to The Republic of Tea® and owner Ron Rubin for believing in our vision and for supporting us so generously for 10 years."
Save the Date for the 11th Annual Run for the Rose on Sunday, April 14, 2013, at Reliant Park. For more information on the Run and the work of the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, please visit www.RunfortheRose.com. You can also follow the foundation on Twitter @drmarnierosefdn and Facebook @drmarnierosefoundation.
The Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=15552
Sallye Wasserstein, Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation 832.722.6400;