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Charity event raises money for brain tumor research (Daily Herald) ...Their hope: to help find a cure for the disease that claimed her life - an inoperable brain tumor.......~~~Our primary goal is to eliminate brain tumors and to provide information to patients and their families,~~~ special projects coordinator Carolyn... - Mar 25 8:54 AM ET


Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)



Website: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/cdh/20020325/lo/charity_event_raises_money_for_brain_tumor_research_1.html

Posted on: 03/25/2002

Charity event raises money for brain tumor research

By Madhu Krishnamurthy Daily Herald Staff Writer

More than 30 years after the untimely death of 10-year-old Catherine Leigh O'Rourke, her spirit lives on in the hearts of many who come together each year in Lake County.

Their hope: to help find a cure for the disease that claimed her life - an inoperable brain tumor.

Sponsored by the American Brain Tumor Association, the third annual Cathy's Connection 5K walk/run/bike event took place Sunday in Deerfield.

About 300 participants braved the low temperatures to complete the course starting at Jaycee Park in Deerfield through Bannockburn and back.

"For years we wanted to do something in Cathy's memory," said her mother, Rosemary O'Rourke, who is a volunteer for the American Brain Tumor Association.

But the now 63-year-old became engrossed in raising her family of seven children, and the years slipped by.

"At the turn of the century, with technology in the forefront, we felt this is the time to really attack brain tumor research," O'Rourke said. "Medical research is at a stage where I think technology would be able to play a big part in making further advances."

In the first year of Cathy's Connection, O'Rourke received an award for a two-year fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Over the past two years, more than $50,000 has been raised for brain tumor research.

The American Brain Tumor Association sponsors about 75 such volunteer-organized events each year throughout the Chicago area.

"Our primary goal is to eliminate brain tumors and to provide information to patients and their families," special projects coordinator Carolyn Brown said.

Next year is the organization's 30th anniversary. It was founded by two North Shore women in 1973. Both women lost their 7-year-old daughters to brain tumors. The organization quickly expanded to provide patient services.

"In part we are sustained by events such as Cathy's Connection," said Naomi Berkowitz, executive director. "We depend upon the kindness and generosity of people."

The association does not receive any government funding.

Sunday, the entire O'Rourke family took pride in participating in the walk to honor the memory of a loved one. Many of them also volunteer for the association.

O'Rourke hopes to help organize the event for as long as she can physically continue.

"It's very family oriented and that's what we're excited about," she said.

It's also a fitting tribute to her daughter Cathy, she added.

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