DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 26th annual Angels Among Us 5K Race and Walk of Hope will take place Saturday, April 27.
The grassroots fundraising effort has grown into a huge fundraiser of unrestricted funds for the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke raising more than $2.3 million in 2018.
"To have the freedom to truly allow us to follow our leads of investigation...we are absolutely dependant on the types of funding Angels Among Us raises," explained Dr. Matthias Gromeier, Professor of Neurosurgery and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke.
Dr. Gromeier developed and leads a cancer immunotherapy clinical trial involving injecting the polio virus into a patients brain tumor to activate the immune system.
"We made it safe to be injected in tumors and patients, and the idea is to infect the tumor and instruct the immune system of the patient to attack the tumor," Gromeier said.
Gromeier said funding the research is key to making advancements and with unrestricted funding like the money raised at Angels Among Us, the brain tumor center can dictate where the money can be spent for research or recruitment.
"I would estimate 50 percent of the funding that made this success possible came from donations, philanthropy, foundations that type of funding," Gromeier said.
The poliovirus therapy is also being tested in fighting other types of cancer including skin, breast, and pancreatic.
"We are very confident this will give us a major new weapon against cancer achieving responses that were not possible before," Gromeier added.
Angels Among Us is a family-friendly event that also offers a silent auction, activities for children, food, vendors and live music and performances. Awards are given to the top 10 fundraising teams, top newcomer team, and top five t-shirt designs.
Angels Among Us 5K Race and Walk of Hope will take place at the Duke Medical Center Campus, rain or shine, at the corner of Erwin Road and Flowers Drive.
Duke's Angels Among Us 5K race, walk to be held April 27
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