Minneapolis Humor to Fight the Tumor Event Raises Nearly $1 Million for Brain Tumor Group

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The 7th Annual Humor to Fight the Tumor…an Evening to Celebrate Life, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010 at the Depot in Minneapolis, is expected to raise more than $250,000 for brain tumor research and patient education and support, bringing the event’s total contributions to the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) to nearly $1 million.

As I have met the event organizers and their supporters, I’ve seen first-hand how, out of fear, pain and sorrow, comes incredible strength, courage, hope and even joy.

The 7th Annual Humor to Fight the Tumor…an Evening to Celebrate Life, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010 at the Depot in Minneapolis, is expected to raise more than $250,000 for brain tumor research and patient education and support, bringing the event’s total contributions to the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) to nearly $1 million.

This year’s sold-out gala will feature a performance by Emmy-winning comedian Jeff Stilson, remarks by Mayo Clinic Oncologist Jan Buckner, M.D., a dinner, live and silent auctions, and personal brain tumor stories of determination and courage.

A video will pay tribute to the 2010 Humor to Fight the Tumor honorees: Julie Fletcher, a 42-year-old, 3-year oligodendroglioma survivor; Mike Gleason, a 31-year-old Best Buy executive who recently lost his battle with glioblastoma; Bruce Tate, who lived 17-years with an oligodendroglioma before passing away at the age of 38; and Mark Westerman, who was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor (now stabilized) in 2009.

Humor to Fight the Tumor was created by Joelle Syverson, who was diagnosed nearly 10 years ago with a brain tumor shortly after giving birth to her third child. After attending a fundraiser for diabetes, Joelle said she decided to start her own event to raise awareness and funds for brain tumor research, a worthy and often-neglected area of study.

“My hope in creating this event was twofold: To educate people about brain tumors and create awareness of a disease that is difficult to diagnose and very devastating,” said Syverson.

Seven years later, Humor to Fight the Tumor is one of the most successful, recurring fundraising events for the Chicago-based ABTA, raising nearly $1 million to date.

“As I have met the event organizers and their supporters, I’ve seen first-hand how, out of fear, pain and sorrow, comes incredible strength, courage, hope and even joy,” said ABTA Executive Director Elizabeth Wilson.

This year, 63,000 new cases of primary brain tumors will be diagnosed. Another 150,000 cancer patients will develop a metastatic brain tumor. In all, there are more than 600,000 people in the United States living with a brain tumor and hoping for a cure.

“This event, and the six Humor to Fight the Tumor annual events that have proceeded it, are the hope of all of those diagnosed with a brain tumor because the funds raised here benefit those researching more effective brain tumor treatments,” said Wilson.

In honor of Humor to Fight the Tumor, and the tremendous contributions the event has made toward improved treatment and care, Wilson announced that one of ABTA’s seven Discovery Research grants will be named in honor of Humor to Fight the Tumor organizing committee. The ABTA Discovery Research Grant Program supports high-risk, high-impact projects with the potential to improve brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care for adult and/or pediatric brain tumor patients.

For more information on Humor to Fight the Tumor, visit: http://humortofightthetumor.com/index.php. To learn more about the American Brain Tumor Association, visit http://www.abta.org.

Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) was the first nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to funding brain tumor research. Today, ABTA provides critical funding to researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care and is the recognized resource for comprehensive, up-to-date information and compassionate support for brain tumor patients and their families. For more information on ABTA, call toll free: 1-800-886-2282; write info(at)abta(dot)org, or visit http://www.abta.org.

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Sheryl Cash
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