HOUSTON –– You may remember Dr. Marnie Rose, the 28-year-old pediatric resident at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital who became a local celebrity after revealing on the 2002 ABC reality show Houston Medical that she was battling brain cancer – and one of the deadliest of human cancers, a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Marnie wanted to make a difference by putting a human face on brain cancer to raise awareness not just of the disease itself but also of its increased incidence among young adults with no risk factors. She died as she lived—helping others.
When Marnie was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2001, Marnie and her parents, Lanie and Jerry Rose, were horrified to learn that the prognosis for brain cancer had not changed in 50 years. Brain cancer was considered a disease of elderly men and of little interest to pharmaceutical companies. No money was being raised locally, very limited funding was available for research, and awareness was limited of this terrible disease.
After Marnie died in August 2002, Lanie and Jerry established the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation in her honor. The foundation became the very first in the Greater Houston, Texas, area to hold a fundraising event that would benefit adult brain cancer research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the world’s premier cancer centers. Even though it was too late to help Marnie, the Roses wanted to help the next patients have a chance to live longer than the average life span for brain cancer (18 months) and celebrate family milestones they never expected to attend.
Run for the Rose, a 5K and 1K run and walk, is the foundation’s signature event held every spring at NRG Park. Funds raised are donated to brain cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center and pediatric health initiatives, including but not exclusive to brain cancer research, at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. The twelfth anniversary race netted $600,000.00 and pushed the foundation’s total donations to these two hospitals over the $4 million mark.
The Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation is expanding its fundraising efforts with new initiative NICKELS FOR NOGGINS™. As the name implies, the simple act of donating a nickel is crucial in the fundamentals of philanthropy. A gift, no matter the size, encourages compassion and increases awareness for a highly underfunded cancer.
The advances witnessed at MD Anderson in just the last 6 or 7 years have been remarkable. The foundation’s funds have extended significantly the lives of many brain tumor patients through the funding of cutting edge research, including the Delta 24 RGD Oncolytic Virus. The foundation supports new drug development that subtracts years off of the wait from the lab to the patient. Personalized medicine types each tumor and customizes treatment. For years the foundation has funded immunotherapy and watched it extend survival time. At least 6 clinical trials have resulted from their funding. The Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation is committed unfailingly to MD Anderson and to finding a cure for this debilitating and too often fatal disease.
At Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, in addition to pioneering amazing new research to treat adult and pediatric brain tumors, donations are being utilized to expand the pediatric Chronic and Palliative Services program which the foundation’s funding helped to create. Other projects also include outfitting the first pediatric Life Flight® helicopter and enhancing the pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. At Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, the foundation’s funds immediately aid the most ill patients, the children Marnie so adored.
To participate in the NICKELS FOR NOGGINS™ program or for more information on the work of the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, please contact the foundation at 713.723.7847; email@example.com or visit www.DrMarnieRose.org. You can also follow the foundation on Twitter @drmarnierosefdn and Facebook @drmarnierosefoundation.