During the organization’s first year, $7000 was raised, and a walk-a-thon at the local high school attracted three hundred participants. The money raised was donated to various brain tumor research laboratories, including Barrows Neurological Institute, the Translational Genomic Research Institute, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The first year had been a success. Little did the student volunteers know, that just nine years later, they would have raised over one million dollars.
Over the next few years, the organization grew to incredible heights. More students signed on to volunteer, more corporations were becoming aware of SSBTR’s missionand making charitable donations, and more people were becoming educated on the topic of brain tumors, their high fatality rates, and the need to find a cure. The non-profit began to focus its efforts on not only raising funds and awareness for brain tumor research year-round, but also on the coordination and execution of an annual walk-a-thon.
During 2010, SSBTR saw much growth. As the 9th annual walk-a-thon took place at Arizona State University, University of Arizona organized it’s 2nd annual walk-a-thon, and brain tumor survivor, Johanna Klomann founded the Northern Arizona University’s first SSBTR event. In total, SSBTR raised $213,000 during it’s 2010 walk season (May 2009- April 2010), all of which was distributed between Barrow Neurological Institute, TGen, The National Brain Tumor Society, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.SSBTR funds have supported some incredible projects this past year. SSBTR Fellow Katie Fenton from Barrow Neurological Institute has made a breakthrough in ketogenic diets, a high-fat, low-carbohydrate treatment for medically refractory epilepsy, as an alternative strategy to inhibit tumor growth. Animal studies have suggested that this diet significantly extends survival in brain tumor patients.
SSBTR is looking forward to it’s 10th Annual Walk-A-Thon on February 26, 2011 at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. With an expected 5,000 participants, SSBTR is thrilled to announce a day filled with plenty of entertainment and excitement! Headlining the stage at the opening ceremony will be the Phoenix Suns Dancers and Gorilla, followed by entertainment from bands, Apexx and Billion Dollar Bailout. Activities such as face painting and bounce houses provide entertainment for kids of all ages. Walkers who wish to take a break from the track will be able to head over to the silent auction tables throughout the day to bid on their favorite sports memorabilia, restaurant gift cards, spa getaways, rounds of golf, and a number of other items.