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Houstonians hit the pavement at Run for the Rose

Sunday, April 10, 2011
April 10, 2011: On day 2 of Houston Texans Cheerleader tryouts, the group that survived cuts on Day 1 was whittled down to 50 finalists.

Thousands of people are taking a stand against brain cancer and raising money for the fight by using their feet.

This year, more than 4,200 participants raised nearly $500,000 dollars for the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation at the annual Run for the Rose.

Sunday marked the ninth time the bullhorn has sounded for Dr. Marnie Rose, a pediatrician who was diagnosed with glioblastoma -- an aggressive brain tumor  at age 27.

Marnie Rose's life was chronicled in an ABC series called 'Houston Medical.' Cameras followed her as a pediatric resident fighting to survive brain cancer.

"When Marnie died, it seemed like it'd be a purposeless death if we didn't do something," her mother, Lanie Rose, said.

Lanie Rose formed the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, named for her daughter. At that time, brain cancer research was underfunded, drug companies weren't interested and the prognosis hadn't changed in 50 years. But fast-forward to 2006&

"I was diagnosed in June 2006," Dr. Kelly Descioli said.

Descioli -- a pediatrician -- was diagnosed with glioblastoma, just like Marnie Rose. The two never met, but their cases are so remarkably similar, it's hard to think of one without the other.

"I was in my intern year of pediatric residency [and had the] same diagnosis [and] same tumor," she said.

Five years after her diagnosis, 32-year-old Descioli is surviving, married and working, but there is no such thing as remission for glioblastoma.

"Unfortunately, I will be evaluated every two to three months for the rest of my life," Descioli said.

That is why her team of 80 runs and raises money each year.

Every dollar raised for Run for the Rose goes toward new research and medicine. Thanks to donations, the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation helped develop a vaccine that was studied and approved by the FDA in a record-setting seven years.

Research funded by the foundation has doubled the survival rate of brain cancer patients like Descioli.

"During our first couple runs we only had one or two survivors and they never lived to the next year, but this year we have almost 50," Lanie Rose said.

Fifty and counting, and every survivor donned a cap at the event designating them a "hero" in hopes that every year there will be even more.

See the videos for on-site interviews at this year's Run for the Rose and visit www.runfortherose.com for more information about the foundation.

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