Angels Among Us 5K run is April 23

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The run is scheduled for April 23 (WTVD)

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Mark your calendars, April 23 marks the 23rd annual Angels Among Us 5k Run and 3k Family Fun Walk, and ABC11 Together event. It serves as the primary fundraiser for an organization that donates money directly to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, something one Smithfield resident credits with keeping her alive.

Go to for more information.

It actually all started as severe sinus issues. That prompted Hannah Youngblood's doctors to order an MRI. But, instead of showing a simple infection, it was discovered that a brain tumor was to blame. Surgeons removed the tumor and started her on radiation and chemotherapy. But, the cancer, an aggressive form called glioblastoma came back. So, Annick Desjardins, MD, PhD with Duke's Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center enrolled Youngblood in a new clinical trial involving immunotoxins.

"So, toxins that we inject directly in the tumor of the patient that infects the tumor, that triggers an inflammation and helps kill the tumor," explained Dr. Desjardins.

And so far, this new treatment seems to be working, as can be seen on some of Youngblood's latest scans.

"I'm so excited, so excited. The last MRI you could see big old holes in the tumor. Like Dr. D. says, it's like a pacman, my body is just eating up the tumor cells," shared Youngblood with a triumphant grin.

Both Youngblood and Dr. Desjardins credit the organization Angels Among Us for helping make this possible. Through their annual race, the group raises money that goes directly to Duke.

"The money from Angels is very, very important because really where it goes is (it) really helps us pay for the areas that we feel (are) very important in research," said Dr. Desjardins.

That includes looking at ways to use vaccines to fight brain cancer.

"The same way you'd get a flu shot that you were vaccinated against the flu, the hope is that we are, and we have shown success, in vaccinating patients against their tumor so their tumor doesn't come back," Desjardins explained.

These are exciting possibilities for the medical community, and patients like Youngblood who are benefiting directly from the clinical trials.

"I'm strong, and I'm blessed, and I have the most talented people in the world working on me," she said with a smile.

ABC11 is a proud sponsor of the 23rd annual Angels Among Us 5K Run and 3K Family Fun Walk

  • Supports the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke

  • Held Saturday, April 23rd. The 5K is at 8:00 a.m., The Survivor Recognition and Family Fun Walk is at 10:30.

  • Come enjoy a day of celebration with great food, entertainment and activities for the children - along with the run and then the Family Fun Walk at the Duke Campus

  • All to benefit ground breaking brain cancer research at Duke.

Go to for more information.

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