GALLIPOLIS — In the spring of 2010, Ohio Valley Bank employee Gabe Stewart, a Gallipolis resident, husband and father in his mid-30s, embarked on an unexpected quest for his own life when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. After surgery and a devastating diagnosis, he was told that he likely wouldn’t live another year.
“My symptoms started simply enough with a little numbness in my left hand,” said Stewart. “A week later, I heard the last statement that I ever expected to hear, ‘You have a five-centimeter tumor on your brain’.”
But Stewart and his family didn’t give up so easily. After the initial surgery, they sought alternative treatment options At Duke University Medical Center, and Stewart has continued to show signs of slowed tumor growth. As a result of his condition and experiences with this kind of cancer, Stewart became involved in Angels Among Us, a volunteer organization for the Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.
This Saturday, a group of local volunteers have gathered to support the cause that has so graciously supported Stewart and others like him. The Gallipolis Community Wellness Committee will hold a Family Fun Walk/5K with all proceeds going to the Angels Among Us organization.
“In the past two years, [Angels Among Us] contributions have exceeded $3.6 million directly for brain tumor research,” said Stewart. “I have personally seen benefits from this research at Duke. It has become one of my goals to raise money for this charity.”
The course begins and ends at Holzer Clinic Sycamore Campus on Fourth Ave. in Gallipolis. It journeys through the grounds of the Gallipolis Developmental Center, historic downtown Gallipolis and the O.O. McIntyre Trail — a course that features paved and untreated roads and elevation changes. This is not a certified course.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. The Kids’ Fun Run begins at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K Run and Walk begins at 9 a.m. Adult registration is $20, and kids can participate for free. Donations can also be made to Team Stewart at www.angelsamongus.org.
“With many families’ lives in the area being touched by brain tumors, research is the only way an end will be put to this,” said Stewart.
For complete information, course map, directions and results, visit www.tristateracer.com.