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Raising awareness of brain tumors in Portland

Why one of our team members is walking in the Portland Brain Tumor 5K Walk this year

The Portland Clinic encourages and supports our doctors, nurses and staff in their effort to keep Portland healthy. As part of an ongoing blog series, here are some of the ways our team members are doing their part to support our local community. Today, we hear from Ashley Maederer as she volunteers her time this summer to lead a movement to help find a cure for brain cancer.

By: Ashley Maederer, Front Office, Alberty Surgical Center

About 10 years ago, my father was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor. He defied the odds and lived with this diagnosis for five years before he passed away in 2009. Luckily, this disease is somewhat rare—about 700,000 Americans currently suffer from some sort of brain tumor, and it’s very likely up to 78,000 more will be diagnosed this year. But for families like mine who were touched by this disease, it is a devastating blow. That’s why I was so grateful to learn about the annual Portland Brain Tumor 5K Walk.

Ashley and her father during a family trip to Disneyland
Ashley and her father during a family trip to Disneyland

The goal of this heartwarming event is to raise awareness and much-needed resources to fund critical brain tumor-specific programs, and improve the lives of those affected by the disease. Importantly, this is also an opportunity for the families of those impacted to come together, share their stories and connect with one another. I have participated in the walk for the last six years and it has been an incredibly valuable experience.

Working at The Portland Clinic and volunteering at the Brain Tumor Walk helps remind me every day that there are so many people in need of care and advocacy. Like the organizers of this walk, the culture of The Portland Clinic is one of compassion—both organizations promote a one-to-one information approach for patients, survivors and families. We will find a cure eventually for what took my father from us, but until then we continue to provide support, and that’s really uplifting for me, my family and the community of doctors, nurses and patients working tirelessly to fight brain tumors.

The 11th annual Portland Brain Tumor 5K Walk will be held August 7 in Pioneer Square. At this year’s event, we will recognize and award the day’s top fund-raising team and most-improved teams from last year, provide participants with a beautifully designed T-shirt, provide important information on the disease, and sponsor sign-making stations. Food and beverages will also be available for participants (free of charge thanks to several generous sponsors). New to this year’s event: a private area will be dedicated for nondenominational services to remember those we’ve lost and support families and friends affected.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please visit the National Brain Tumor Society Portland Brain Tumor Walk site. Registration is open until August 6 and I encourage you to sign up online as soon as possible to give you the most time to spread the word and collect donations. I hope to see you on August 7, whether walking, volunteering or just cheering the group of more than 1,000 Portland residents as they march for the cause.

— Ashley


Portland Brain Tumor Walk – August 7, 2016, Pioneer Square

Register here: http://events.braintumor.org/portland-brain-tumor-walk/

Prerace registration begins at 9 a.m.

Walk starts at 10 a.m.