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Student organizers of the Valley's 8th annual walk-a-thon by Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research hope this year to top the $1 million mark in total donations collected since starting in 2002.

The 3-hour variable-length walk - up to 5 miles around the track at Pinnacle High School, 3535 E. Mayo Blvd. - starts at noon on Saturday, March 7, accompanied by the music of five live bands, inflatable bouncy castles, a variety of food and free massages.

"This year, our goal is to surpass the $1 million mark that represents our total earnings since 2002. It would be great to raise at least $250,000 this year, which would be an increase from last year," said Christie Shely, a senior at Horizon High School and the SSBTR Co-Chair for 2009.

Student organizers also hope to attract as many as 4,500 participants, including students representing more than 100 Arizona schools, Shely said. The walk will include a silent auction, featuring more than 100 items.

In addition, the group is sponsoring its first walk-a-thon in Tucson, from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28, on the mall at the University of Arizona. The walks support brain cancer research at Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix Children's Hospital and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). More than 95 percent of the money raised goes directly to research, awareness and treatment. The student organization's expenses, including postage, printing and promotion, do not exceed 5 percent.

Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) was founded in 2002 after three Paradise Valley School District students died from brain tumors. After leukemia, brain tumors are the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths among teenagers.


If you go

When: Noon-3 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Registration starts at 11:30 a.m.

Where: Pinnacle High School, 3535 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, northwest of Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard.

2009 Beneficiaries: The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the National Brain Tumor Society, Barrow Neurological Institute, and Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Registration: Please visit www.ssbtr.org/index.php?action=walkathon. The tax-deductible walk registration fee is $10.

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Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) is a Scottsdale-based, student-run organization. Last year, student representatives from more than 100 Arizona schools participated in the walk-a-thon, which was attended by more than 4,000 people and raised $228,000 for brain tumor research. For more information, visit www.ssbtr.org or call 1-888-SSBTR-AZ (772-8729).

About TGen

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
[email protected]

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