It is truly an honor and a pleasure to run the 2019 Boston Marathon as part of the fabulous Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team. This non-profit was founded in 1996 and has raised over $6 million toward pediatric neurological research leading to several medical discoveries and life-saving cures. The Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team has been an incredible support for our laboratory’s brain cancer research. My enthusiasm to combat brain tumor research directly stems from my two incredible mentors, Dr. Judah Folkman and Dr. Mark Kieran. My first research job as a college and medical student in Dr. Judah Folkman’s laboratory ignited my passion for translational research to help cancer patients. Dr. Folkman’s legacy, to which Dr. Kieran and I remain truly committed and have dedicated our lives, is to “bring science from the bench to the bedside” to combat brain tumors in children. After spending more than a decade with Dr. Folkman and Dr. Kieran, we have focused our laboratory on studies that are ideally suited for translation into the clinic for the treatment of brain tumor patients. Dr. Folkman, former surgeon-in-chief at Boston Children’s Hospital, dedicated his life to accelerating the search for a cure to cancers by pioneering the field of tumor angiogenesis. Dr. Kieran has treated and helped many kids with brain tumors. Our team of world renowned cancer and systems biologists, oncologists, and lipid autacoid experts is working tirelessly to cure cancer.
I am so excited to run for my CUkid patient partners Jack and Jackson. I am also running in memory of my beautiful mom, Sailabala Panigrahy, who passed away from cancer on October 14, 2017. She was the first female Civil Engineer of the first graduating class (1964) at the Regional Institute of Technology (NIT-Jamshedpur, India). She arrived in the US in 1969 and helped raise our family in Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia. She was passionate about health and fitness, including walking 5-10 miles a day. I am running for every person who has been touched by cancer. While running the Boston Marathon is a challenge, fighting cancer in children and adults is a cause bigger than any race and the ultimate challenge. Your support of our fundraising goals is very much appreciated. Dipak