First-ever brain cancer walk to be held here Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This weekend, residents from around Covington County will join forces to help find a cure for brain cancer.
In conjunction with Brain Cancer Awareness Month, residents will have the opportunity participate in a Heroes of Hope walk, which is part of the Heroes of Hope Grey Ribbon Crusade, which provides support for those affected by the disease and serves as a hub, allowing people to gather information and share resources, while providing a vehicle for fundraising for research, according to its Web site.
Reba Gant, an event organizer, said she got involved because her daughter-in-law, Cyndee Smith Hall, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in March 2007.
“Caitie Rhodes’ Aunt Tee (Terry) is the one who got me involved,” Gant said. “And so far we have 47 people signed up.”
Rhodes is a Straughn High School student who also is battling brain cancer.
Gant said this is the first year for the event locally, and said she hopes the event will become annual.
There are two teams for the event, Caitie’s Army, in honor of Rhodes, and Team Cyndee, in honor of Hall.
Gant said Team Cyndee has set a goal of $1,000 for the event, and has almost exceeded that goal at more than $900.
Gant said all money raised will go to cancer research through the Grey Ribbon Crusade.
“Cyndee is a very brave and inspirational person and because of her I have become very involved in brain cancer research,” she said. “Brain tumor research is severely underfunded, and we need more funding for research. There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors, and there are no known causes of brain tumors. Some brain tumors can’t be detected by blood work and can only be seen by MRIs.”
Registration will begin at 8 a.m., and the walk will begin shortly after. Everyone is asked to meet at Westgate Plaza. Participants will walk from Westgate Plaza to Ashley Furniture and back.
“We need people to register online at This needs to be done as soon as possible, the more people that register in advance the more extra T-shirts they will send us to have on hand the day of the event,” she said.