Columbus launches 5K run for brain cancer research

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Sunday's weather could not dampen the determination of the many people taking part in the Head for the Cure 5K. This is the first year Columbus has hosted the race.

"These are the dark days, but we know the sun comes out tomorrow," said brain cancer survivor Sam Mierzejewski. "The rainy weather today for many is like the first days fighting, but brighter days are ahead."

This race began a long time ago for many participants. For some, it started with a headache. For others, it was sudden speech problems or blurry vision followed by a diagnosis. At least 10 of the runners in the inaugural Columbus Head for the Cure 5K remember the moment when a doctor said, "You have Cancer".

"I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008 that impacted my brain stem. I went through chemo, radiation, brain surgery and now I'm at a big milestone for brain cancer survivors. This is my 10-year anniversary this March so I can cut down on my MRIs, so that's a good thing," said Mierzejewski.

With each stride on Sunday, Sam Mierzejewski is grateful. In March, the former Upper Arlington Police Sergeant marked a decade of cancer survival with his family and friends. Now, he continues to offer support for others. "The sun will come out tomorrow. I guess that's what we want to say," said Mierzejewski. He's glad Central Ohio helped to raise more than $21,000 for research and better treatment of brain cancer. Race Executive Director Jenna Hielman said the race will return next spring.

Experts at The James said brain cancer is a complex disease leaving each patient with different cancer that behaves differently and calls for a tailored, individualized treatment plan. Effective brain cancer detection and treatment is crucial, they said. So their nationally-renowned experts identify and understand cancer at the biologic and genetic levels, unlocking the molecular code of a patient’s disease and pinpointing what makes each cancer grow — then discovering what stops it. They said fundraising for that research helps.

Today's weather could not dampen the determination of the many people taking part in this Head for the Cure 5K. This is the first year Columbus has hosted the race.

"These are the dark days, but we know the sun comes out tomorrow," said brain cancer survivor Sam Mierzejewski. "The rainy weather today for many is like the first days fighting, but brighter days are ahead."

For some of the race participants, this race began a long time ago with a headache for some, it was sudden speech problems or blurry vision followed by a diagnosis. At least 10 of the runners in the inaugural Columbus Head for the Cure 5K remember the sickening moment when a doctor said, "You have Cancer".

"I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008 that impacted my brain stem. I went through chemo, radiation, brain surgery and now I'm at a big milestone for brain cancer survivors. This is my 10 year anniversary this March so I can cut down on my MRIs, so that's a good thing," said Mierzejewski.

With each stride today Sam Mierzejewski is grateful. In March, the former Upper Arlington Police Sergeant marked a decade of survival with his family and friends and continues support for others. "The sun will come out tomorrow. I guess that's what we want to say," said Mierzejewski. He's glad Central Ohio helped to raise more than $21,000 for research and better treatment of brain cancer. Race Executive Director Jenna Hielman said the race will return next spring.

Experts at The James said brain cancer is a complex disease leaving each patient with different cancer that behaves differently and calls for a tailored, individualized treatment plan. Effective brain cancer detection and treatment is crucial, they said so their nationally-renowned experts identify and understand cancer at the biologic and genetic levels, unlocking the molecular code of a patient’s disease and pinpointing what makes each cancer grow — then discovering what stops it. They said fundraising for that research helps.

To learn more about brain cancer and the work of experts at the OSUCCC The James, click here.

To learn more about the Columbus inaugural Head for the Cure 5k click here.