Run for the Rose fundraiser this Sunday
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- When Dr. Marnie Rose died of brain cancer at age 28, her family turned their grief into action. In 10 years, they raised $3 million for brain cancer research that couldn't get funded and it's already beginning to pay off.
Marnie Rose was a young pediatrician when she learned she had brain cancer.
"They got most of the tumor but there's a little left in the brain, and to get that they would've had to either paralyze me or kill me," she said in 2002.
She courageously allowed cameras from ABC's Houston Medical to follow her through her treatment.
"I remember telling my neurosurgeon, please I just want to be a pediatrician again," Rose said then.
But she only lived a year and a half.
"The prognosis had not changed in 50 years when Marnie was diagnosed ," said Lanie Rose, Marnie's mother.
That's changing, in part, because of Marnie's family. Ten years ago, the Rose Foundation began funding brain cancer research, and now many people are living three times longer than Marnie did.
"They're going on with their lives and it's like we say 'Yes! Yes!'" Lanie Rose said.
"We're slowly chipping away every year at prolonging the survival for these folks," said Dr. Amy Heimberger, who received some funds for her research.
Dr. Heimberger's successful peptide vaccine is helping people live longer. It was funded by the Rose Foundation, and now Dr. Heimberger has started more research.
"You have to have the seed money to get started on a great idea," Dr. Heimberger said.
Now with every dollar they raise for research, they generate $5 to $10 in federal grants and other funding.
Dr. Juan Fueyo and Dr. Candelaria Gomez-Manzano had an idea, but no money. Nine years later, with Rose research dollars, their idea is a brain cancer treatment.
"With your support, we have already treated 30 patients. And the results are still preliminary but very encouraging," Dr. Fueyo said.
"Marnie would be so pleased," Lanie Rose said.
Lanie Rose says that the Rose Foundation is simply continuing Marnie's work.
"Her life meant something," she said.
Lanie Rose says they chose to fund research with the most hope for a cure.
If you'd like to help, you can participate in Sunday's 10th Run for the Rose.
healthcheck, christi myers
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