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Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure goes virtual

After loss, family continues to raise funds for annual event

Tom Blankemeyer lived his life following the five Fs: faith, family, friends, fitness and finance. His wife, Mary Jo, said he talked about adding in a sixth F for fun.

Volunteering for Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure checked all the Fs in Tom’s life. Since his own brain tumor diagnosis in 2007, he focused on helping others and raising funds for the University of Cincinnati Brain Tumor Center at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute.

Sadly, Tom passed away in May 2020. His family and Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure teammates are continuing his work through this year’s virtual event. Walkers and runners can participate anytime through October 18. Various online activities will also be held for registrants.

Since its 2009 beginnings, Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure has raised more than $2 million, helping to achieve new benchmarks in brain tumor research. This includes the support of pilot research grants for UC researchers determined to find a cure.

“Walk Ahead is so important for research,” Mary Jo said. “We need to find cures for brain tumors and won’t without the research. In my opinion, UC is the top for neuroscience. It’s a wonderful, wonderful place.”

Each year, the event displays large quilts made from teams’ T-shirts over the years. Mary Jo says she and Tom were very involved with the quilts, working on them with friend Patty Corona. This year the extra material was used for making masks.

“Tom lived a good life, gave of himself and I couldn’t be prouder,” she said. “He was such a good role model for his kids.”

Register or donate at walkahead.org.

Featured image: Tom Blankemeyer's Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure team. Tom is center wearing number 623. Photo/Provided/Mary Jo Blankemeyer

Support the 11th annual Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure. The virtual event ends Sunday, Oct. 18.

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