Brain Tumor Survivor Shares Message of Strength, Courage to Raise Awareness

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–There are almost 700,000 people in the United States living with a brain tumor.

Now, for the first time in Baltimore, there’s a push to raise awareness about the condition.

“On my 37th birthday, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor,” said Jeff Kolodin, with the National Brain Tumor Society. “Six months later, my very dear friend was diagnosed with a brain tumor and five months later, he was gone.  That’s when I decided to get involved with the National Brain Tumor Society.”

Now two decades later, Jeff and their team are preparing for the first brain tumor walk here in Baltimore, sharing a  message of strength and courage.

“A walk is a great way for a community of folks who feel isolated.  A brain tumor is a lonely disease and you feel like nobody in the world has one but you, but when you come to one of our walks, you suddenly feel like a member of this incredible community,” said Katie-Rose Tuttle, with the National Brian Tumor Society.

The number of people living with a brain tumor are staggering.

“There are 700,000 people living in the United States with one, and each year over 77,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumor.  It’s a large statistic,” said Allison Perry, brain tumor survivor.

It’s also the leading cause of cancer in children under 20.

Now, there’s a push to get volunteers and walkers to show their support on September 10th, at the Canton Waterfront Park.

“This is a disease that doesn’t care about socioeconomic status, it doesn’t care about race, it doesn’t care about anything.  Once you get it, you become part of this community and the battle begins,” said Kolodin.

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