WOODSTOCK – Deb Fuller is determined.
The mother of Hope, the 12-year-old victim of a rare brain tumor in 2010, Fuller has spent much of the three years since her daughter’s death raising money so that other moms might not go through what she went through. Her efforts continue early next month, when she and other friends and relatives of Hope Fuller host the third annual Run For Hope 5K.
“Her life has to mean something to me,” said Fuller, of Woodstock. “I feel like I owe it to her memory.” The race starts at 8 a.m. July 6 from the parking lot of Grace Lutheran Church, 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock.
Hope Fuller was regarded as a kind and caring girl who often gave her time for others, including running a lemonade stand for a homeless woman she’d met, and on a separate occasion for a local food pantry.
She died of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) – a brain tumor that affects about 250 children a year – less than eight months after her diagnosis, Deb Fuller said.
Through the organization “The Cure Starts Now,” proceeds from the Run For Hope 5K go toward DIPG research.
Last year, the 5K brought in about $14,000. Organizers are hoping to reach $20,000 in proceeds this year.
Deb Fuller calls it a drop in the bucket for what she sees as a drastically underfunded disease, but “every little drop in that gigantic bucket is important,” she said.
Fuller said there’s a disproportionate amount of funding going to adult forms of cancer such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Looking for cures to an aggressive form such as DIPG could lead to a breakthrough across the board, she said.
“If we can make any progress with this kind of a tumor, who knows what we can do with other forms,” Fuller said.
Participants can register for the Run For Hope 5K or donate to the cause at raceagainsttheodds.com. Race-day registration starts at 7 a.m.
A kids half-mile dash will follow the 5K about 9:15 a.m.