Half-marathon increases brain tumor awareness

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A fundraiser kicked off in Grant Park to increase awareness about brain tumors when an estimated 6,000 runners participated in the Chicago Spring Half-Marathon and 10K. (WLS)

For many this is a celebration of life. Just ask brain tumor survivor Scott Randall, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011. After surgery and rehab, he's back.

"It's kind of the final step for me and final celebration so I'm pretty happy to have it over with," he said.

His sister Lauren was there to watch her big brother cross the finish line.

"We are so proud of him what he's overcome and accomplished it's been a journey," said Lauren Randall.

That story of beating cancer is one of many among the thousands participating in Sunday's Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K.

"It was extremely. This is such a life changing experience," said runner Dani Makia.

The run's goal is to raise money for brain cancer research.

"May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month and what we really want to do is to help people know the warning signs and symptoms for brain tumors," said Holly Gibout, Northwestern Memorial Foundation.

Runners for the 13.1-mile half marathon stepped off first, followed by those running in the 10K race.

"It's really a celebration of what should be spring. We're almost there today," said Scott Hutmacher.

The event is in its sixth year and while this annual event is seen as one that kicks off the summer running season, for some this event is about more than just finishing a race.

An estimated 6,000 runners traversed the Lakeshore East and Grant Park areas to increase awareness about the disease and the event's charitable partner, the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute.

A lot of people think life is over you've been diagnosed with a brain tumor, there's no hope but all that exists," said Dr. James Chandler, Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute.

"When I woke up from surgery 90 days ago I wasn't thinking I was going to be here... great day perfect," said brain tumor survivor Darren Latimer.
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