“Run the Rocks!” Event Supports Research Project for Pediatric Brain Cancer

by | Mar 31, 2017 | Community

Jack’s Angels Foundation of Agua Dulce is organizing a trail running event — including a family walk — at Vasquez Rocks County Park (10700 Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce 91350) on Sunday, April 30, with races beginning at 9 a.m.  The event opens at 8 a.m. and includes both a 5k and 10k race through the park, which are part of Trail Runner Magazine’s Trophy Series, offering $100 for 1st place in both events, sponsored by Sweet and Sour Bliss Co. of Acton.  Other races include the 20k Relay for Jack event for teams of up to four runners, and a kids 1k race at 10:30 a.m.  The family 5k walk is untimed with a less challenging course than the 5k loop or the 10k race in the Canyon.
“Brain cancer is the leading cause of death in children with cancer,” states Janet Demeter, president of Jack’s Angels, “and has remained one of the least-funded areas of cancer research for decades.”
The result, she maintains, is that the families of those affected by the second-most prevalent variety, DIPG, and the deadliest, must be resigned to witness the torturous death of their child because the relative numbers of the annual population of children with the disease (200-400 in the U.S.) don’t warrant the research investment in our current medical research system.
“It’s a lot to swallow,” says Demeter, “on top of a terminal prognosis.”
She speaks from experience, losing her three-year-old son Jack to DIPG in 2012, and is motivated in her work with Jack’s Angels to change this experience, hopefully, for others.  “Run the Rocks!” celebrates the fact that the actions of real people can make a difference for children with the deadliest pediatric cancers.
“It is due to the fundraising activity of parent-initiated groups that there is any research funding at all for DIPG,” Janet said, “and awareness for the disease.”
Congressman Steve Knight (R-CA-25) worked with Jack’s Angels in crafting the only bill to ask that children and high-mortality rate cancers be prioritized for research, H.Res.69 (www.hres69.org).  It has inspired a movement for State Proclamations nationwide, all naming May 17 as DIPG Awareness Day.  A research project for DIPG at the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute in Beaverton, Oregon, Dr. Charles Keller, Scientific Director, is the primary beneficiary of event proceeds.
The event website, runtherocks.info, contains registration and volunteer information and links including community service credit for youth participation as well as volunteer help.  Not able to attend?  Opt for virtual event registration, for “Virtual Relay for Jack,” which boasts participation from anywhere around the world, through May 17, in support of DIPG awareness and research.
Visit www.jacksangels.org or contact Janet at 977-3125 for more information. 

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