It all started with the compelling story and determination of one patient, John Petrovick, a 24 year old law school student at UMBC. In 2008, the same year he was training for his first marathon, John was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in the right frontal lobe of his brain. One year later, despite the surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, he ran a full marathon and raised more than $ 10,000 for Dr. Q’s research. He ran again in 2010 and raised another $5,000.
John’s dedication to the lab inspired Dr. Q and members of his lab. In 2011, Dr. Q created a running team, mostly comprised of young students from the lab, and decided to run with John. For the first time in ten years, Dr. Q started running again. He began training a few times per week to prepare for the race. The night before the marathon, Dr. Q, his lab team, and a few patients gathered for a carbo load dinner at Germano’s in Little Italy.
The next morning, the team gathered at a meeting place to prepare for the race. The weather that day was perfect for the run. Despite being injured, Dr. Q finished the half-marathon in two hours and six minutes. Even more impressive was John’s performance—only five months after another operation with Dr. Q and one week after an exhausting session of chemotherapy, he finished the half-marathon in one hour and 57 minutes!!
Alicia Cignatta, another patient of Dr. Q’s, also participated in the race. She says, “I wanted to do this because the key to us surviving longer with a better quality of life is through research like that of Dr. Q’s. We need to uncover what makes our brain tumors tick.” When asked if she plans to do more fund raising events in the future, she replied, “yes, absolutely!”
Dr. Q and his team plan to make the marathon fundraiser an annual event. We hope to make this event bigger and better next year. If you want to help us cure brain cancer, join our running team, Q’s Quest, next year. Announcements will be posted on the website a few months prior to the race. You can also help us by creating your own fundraiser or by making a donation.