UC docs hit the streets: Join ‘Walk Ahead for Brain Tumor Discoveries’

Join hundreds of UC, local supporters as they rally to stomp out brain tumors

In a spirited effort to advance brain tumor treatment and seek potential cures, the masterminds behind the University of Cincinnati's cutting-edge Brain Tumor Center — along with a legion of local supporters — are set to pound the pavement at Sawyer Point for the 14th annual 5K "Walk Ahead for Brain Tumor Discoveries" Sunday, Oct. 15.

This exciting event is not just about hitting the road; it's a march toward progress. 

Walk Ahead's mission

  • Raise awareness and critical funds for multidisciplinary brain tumor research and education.
  • Provide an uplifting atmosphere for brain tumor patients and caregivers to connect with researchers and each other.

To date, nearly $2 million has been raised to support the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute’s Brain Tumor Center, offering top-tier clinical trials and distinguished research — all aimed toward extending and improving the quality of life for patients right here in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.

Kristen Crawford, event chair and strategic sourcing manager for UC Health, expressed her enthusiasm for the event, noting, "This is our 14th year holding the 'Walk Ahead' 5K walk/run event, and what's most unique is that many of our neuro-medical team and researchers walk with us.

"This year, however, is the first year we will have a tent at the event where we spotlight the researchers and provide an opportunity for them to interact with the public and answer questions."

Specialists, supporters connect

For Crawford, the cause is deeply personal. After her husband Sean's brain glioblastoma diagnosis in 2014 and his subsequent passing in 2015, she joined the planning committee, eventually assuming the role of event chair in 2020.

Crawford remarked, "In many ways, I'm working here not only on behalf of my husband but also for brain tumor patients who are enduring what we went through." 

Like quilts, love is bound together one stitch, one step at a time

Large quilt made of squares from t-shirts emblazoned with team names in honor of brain tumor research.

One of the three quilts created from 'Walk Ahead' team T-shirts.

Group of people stand in front of a large quilt made of 'Walk Ahead' t-shirts.

In 2022, Kristin Crawford (kneeling front center) and her team still walk in Sean's memory.

A poignant highlight of the walk is a colossal quilt comprised of sewn-together T-shirts from prior teams, displayed for walker photo ops.

Teams of supporters, rallying for family or friends affected by brain tumors, craft their own shirts each year emblazoned with their loved one's name or a symbolic theme. 

“Over the past 14 years, so many shirts have been donated that three quilts have been completed,” says Crawford. “We envision a future where these quilts will adorn the walls inside the Gardner Neuroscience Institute for all to witness.”

The Brain Tumor Center’s associate director for research, David Plas, compares the research program to UC’s multidisciplinary team approach in patient care. “UC Brain Tumor Center research is an interdisciplinary team from UC’s Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering and beyond, working together to deliver discoveries that will benefit brain tumor patients.”

Ongoing Brain Tumor Center success

  • New neurotherapeutics NIH IGNITE Program with over $700,000 in research.
  • New NIH grant to investigate blood brain barrier in gliomas with over $1.3 million in research.
  • 24 publications investigating brain tumor biology and pre-clinical therapy advancement.
  • Development of new methods to characterize nucleotide synthesis in glioblastoma.

Start or join a fundraising team or register as an individual. 

Don't miss this chance to make a difference and be part of the solution in the fight against brain tumors. Join the 5K "Walk Ahead for Brain Tumor Discoveries" and help make strides in the battle for a brighter future.

Complimentary food trucks while supplies last.

To learn more about how to register or donate to this crucial event, visit walkahead.org.


Featured image at top: Kristen Crawford and her husband Sean (in wheelchair) with other supporterts in the second Walk Ahead event in 2015. photos/courtesy of Kristen Crawford

walk ahead web images - 16

Walkers hit the Sawyer Point pavement for a good cause.

UC Brain Tumor Center

The Brain Tumor Center integrates the research and translational activities of an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and scientists from across the University of Cincinnati and its neighboring institutions. Our mission is to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for tumors that arise in the brain as well as tumors that have spread (metastasized) to the brain.

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