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stepNout Run/Walk/Dash aiming at $1 million for research

7th annual TGen event at Kiwanis Park benefits pancreatic cancer patients

October 25, 2012

The 7th annual stepNout Run/Walk/Dash begins a march toward the $1 million mark in fundraising for pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Registration begins at 7 a.m., opening ceremonies are set for 8:30 a.m., and races - including a 5K run - start at 9 a.m. on Nov. 4 at Tempe's Kiwanis Community Park, 6111 S. All-America Way. Nearly 1,000 participants are expected again this year.

Vowing to continue "fighting pancreatic cancer, one step at a time," organizers are embarking on a goal to eventually surpass the $1 million mark in fundraising. Last year, stepNout participants eclipsed $500,000 in total donations since the event started in 2006.

Kathy Wills, this year's stepNout chairperson, said she has been inspired by TGen Physician-In-Chief Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, who treated her late mother, Ann Yturri, for pancreatic cancer.

"My fondest memory of Dr. Von Hoff is when he met with my mom and told her that, 'Someday, we will wake up and there will be a cure for pancreatic cancer. From that point forward, everyone with this awful disease will be cured.' I thought that was so encouraging, and it really made me want to help find a cure as soon as possible," Wills said.

To visit a memorial for her mother, a talented artist known for making friends with everyone she met, please go to www.tgenfoundation.org, click on Memorials and scroll to Ann Yturri.

Ann was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer soon after turning 60, and like so many with this aggressive, fast-moving disease, passed away within a few months.

Nearly 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and more than 37,000 will die from this disease, which kills 74 percent of those diagnosed within the first year. Only 6 percent survive more than five years. The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach that secretes enzymes into the small intestine to help digestion and produce hormones. There are no early detection methods available, so the cancer usually is not found until its advanced stages.

This year's stepNout emcee will be ABC15 News Emmy-nominated reporter Kimberly Cheng.

Among the ways to raise funds, supporters can purchase $5 raffle tickets (5 for $20) for a chance to win a $1,000 VISA gift card, which was generously donated by the Matsch Family who lost three of their family members to pancreatic cancer. Raffle tickets are available at www.helptgen.org. "Every dollar raised through this promotion brings us one step closer to a cure," Wills said.

Participants also can join a team, sponsor a runner, or simply make a donation. Online registration ends Oct. 30.

TGen Foundation President Michael Bassoff said that each year the stepNout event enables thousands of people to join TGen's pancreatic cancer research team in the fight against this awful disease. "Based on the research team's continued success, we anticipate that this year's event will be the largest ever," Bassoff said.

November is national Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, a special time for TGen's National Pancreatic Cancer Committee as it marks 7 years of making a difference in the lives of those battling the nation's fourth leading cause of cancer death.

If you go to stepNout

What: The Translational Genomics Research Institute's (TGen's) 7th annual stepNout Run/Walk/Dash, benefiting TGen pancreatic cancer research.
Where: The south end of Tempe's Kiwanis Community Park, 6111 S. All-America Way, Tempe. Enter off Guadalupe Road at All American Way, between Rural and Kyrene roads.
When: 7-11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. Registration starts at 7 a.m.; races begin at 9 a.m.; an awards ceremony is set for 10 a.m.; and a kids' dash is planned for 10:30 a.m.
Cost: Registration fees range from $15 to $35, depending on age and competition. Children ages 4 and under are free.
Registration: You can register at the event, or register online by Oct. 30 by visiting www.tgenfoundation.org and clicking the stepNout icon.
Parking: Please leave valuable items at home, or lock them in your trunk. Parking is available along All-American Way and surrounding lots.
Why: Organizers hope to raise more than $100,000 for TGen's pancreatic cancer research.

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About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based 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 Contacts:

Erin Massey
Vice President of Development, Cancer Programs
TGen Foundation
602-343-8470
[email protected]

Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
[email protected]


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