BTN LiveBIG: The Challenge to combat cancer at Purdue

On April 12, the Purdue community will hit the roads of West Lafayette to raise money for research that will someday help find effective cures and treatments for cancer.

PurdueCC5kThe Challenge is a 5K run/walk sponsored by the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, and it will be held on April 12 in conjunction with the campus’ annual Springfest celebration, a celebration of the lighter side of higher education, offering students of all ages an opportunity to have a hands-on experience with animals, astronomy, art and much more.

The Springfest runs April 12 and 13.

Head football coach Darrell Hazel will be taking The Challenge and be among the 2,000 participants expected to be at Ross-Ade Stadium at 8:30 a.m. to start the event.

“All athletic teams are urged to participate,’’ said Julie Hendon, Manager of Development for the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. “It is going to be a big Purdue day.”

Participants are asked to get pledges from friends, family and acquaintances, and prizes are offered to the most successful community group, faculty group and student group in terms of pledge amounts. The Challenge web page offers the opportunity for individual or group participants to build a personalized giving page to receive pledges of support.

Following the run/walk, participants are encouraged to attend the spring football game in the afternoon, as well as take part in the activities of Springfest.

The Purdue University Center for Cancer Research has raised $315,000 in the last six years of The Challenge, and that money goes to pay for the advancement of new research in the area of cancer prevention and treatment.

“We award a grant to a researcher every year, and the researchers are all from Purdue,’’ Hendon said. “We focus on new research. It makes our grant more valuable, allowing a researcher to build on their research while applying for larger grants. Our grants can kick start a novel research idea that does not yet have funding from larger grants.”

The Center for Cancer Research currently has 96 faculty members in 18 departments, including engineering, biology, pharmacy, and the veterinary school. The Center for Cancer Research studies cancer at the cellular level to determine how cancer cells develop and how they are affected by treatment; finds ways to detect cancer quicker, and shares all research and obtained data with scientists worldwide to extend the reach of the work they do at Purdue.

“They all collaborate on cancer research,’’ Hendon said. “Our resources are available to them through our membership collaborative lab space.”

Online registration for the 5K Challenge and information on the research center can be found at http://www.thepurduechallenge.com/.

More information on the Center’s success stories can be read at http://www.cancerresearch.purdue.edu/

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