Voices Against Brain Cancer Comments on Athlete’s Perseverance in Face of Her Brain Tumor

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Following an article detailing one athlete’s perseverance despite her brain tumor diagnosis, Voices Against Brain Cancer applauds her strength

On October 4, 2012, nonprofit organization, Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC), released a statement following an article detailing one 33-year-old woman’s perseverance despite her brain tumor diagnosis.

According to a recent article by Heidi Hagemeier of The Bulletin, Johanna Olson has been dealing with a brain tumor since she was 18 years old. “It first made itself known when Olson was in her first season as a star cross country runner at Luther College in Iowa. Over the course of two years, she had brain surgery and a round of radiation treatments,” stated Hagemeier. “Her good health returned, Olson quickly racked up cross country accolades such as league MVP, seven-time All-American and, finally in 2000, NCAA Division III women’s individual cross country champion. After college, she twice competed in the U.S. Olympic trials.”

Hagemeier continues by stating, “Since then it’s been a journey of treatments and surgery and doctors. She regularly feels tired, her once muscular body now so thin. She will find out in mid-October if the latest treatment — a drug meant to arrest the tumor’s growth — is working, and what comes next.” She continues, “Not that all of this is Olson’s focus. Instead, she’s looking ahead to the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on Oct. 7 in Minnesota.”

VABC representative, Clay Darrohn, states, “We find Olson’s perseverance in the face of her diagnosis to be inspiring. We hope that her determination will inspire others who are dealing with this devastating disease and spur on more dedication for those who are working to find a cure.”

VABC has a wide variety of initiatives in place for brain cancer research, awareness and support. The organization’s research grants fund cutting-edge research programs that will have a monumental impact on the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer. VABC currently funds research at several esteemed institutions such as Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cleveland Clinic, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, John Hopkins, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Yale, to name a few. VABC's mission is to find a cure for brain cancer by advancing scientific research, building awareness amongst the medical community and supporting patients, their families and caregivers afflicted with this devastating disease.

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