Medical Heroes Appreciation 5K Run & Walk


Partnership with DIA to Honor People Who Give the Gift of Participation in Clinical Research

BOSTON, MA – March 1, 2014 — The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), an independent non-profit, is excited to announce the launch of a new event — Medical Heroes Appreciation 5K Run & Walk in San Diego — to celebrate the volunteers who give the gift of participation in clinical research. The first annual Medical Heroes Appreciation 5K Run & Walk will coincide with the Drug Information Association (DIA) 2014 Annual Meeting. The event will take place on Monday, June 16, 2014 outside the San Diego Convention Center from 6:45-8:00am. Participants are encouraged to register early as space is limited. To register, visit

“Medical Heroes are the millions of people who help advance public health and medical knowledge by taking part in clinical trials each year,” said CISCRP’s founder, Ken Getz. “This special event recognizes their gift, raises public awareness and appreciation, and hopefully will become an annual tradition.”

Running and walking enthusiasts and all supporters of CISCRP’s mission are invited to participate or attend the event to show their support. Proceeds from the event will support education and outreach programs to patients and families interested in learning more about the clinical research process.

“We are honored the inaugural offering of the Medical Heroes Appreciation 5K will be held during the 50th Anniversary of DIA’s Annual Meeting.” said Lori Risboskin, DIA’s Associate Director Event Planning & Exhibits. “DIA members understand the importance of clinical research volunteers and appreciate their participation in clinical trials. We’re delighted to help CISCRP launch this special event.”

Registrants will have the opportunity to check-in early on Sunday June 15, 2014 from 8am – 9am, 12pm – 1pm, and 3pm – 6pm to receive event materials and giveaways. Regular check-in the day of the event begins at 6am; and the 5K Run & Walk will begin at 6:45am. For more information about the event, to volunteer, register or become a sponsor, visit Questions about event registration should go to Ellyn Getz (617) 725-2750, e-mail, or call toll free 1-877-MED-HERO.


CISCRP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to engaging the public and patients as partners in the clinical research process. CISCRP provides free education and outreach to the general public and patient communities. Visit for more information or to support CISCRP.

About the DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting

The DIA Annual Meeting is the premier event for professionals involved in the discovery, development and lifecycle management of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and related medical products. No other industry event rivals the depth and breadth of experience that this meeting delivers through 20 interest-area tracks, 260+ program offerings and 18 pre-conference tutorials. The presentations are geared to attendees of all disciplines and experience levels. Visit our website at and follow DIA at: LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Pinterest.




Ivy Foundation in Oncology Times

The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation has awarded the following individuals grants and funding for brain cancer research in 2012:

  • Greg D. Foltz, MD, Director of the Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Medical Center, $2.5 million over three years;
  • John Carpten, PhD, and David Craig, PhD, both of the Translational Genomics Research Institute for a collaborative effort with researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, UCLA, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and University of Utah, $5 million over five years; and
  • Brandy Wells, Manager of Science Education and Outreach at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, has received $45,000 annually for the Ivy Neurological Sciences Internship Program.

For more information:,_Promotions,_Honors,.18.aspx

The Fight Against Cancer is not the Only Battle Patients Face

Fundraiser will help father with brain cancer

Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 17:13 PM.

Steve Meyers says his son has been through a lot, and he is clearly not exaggerating.

Scott Alan Meyers was diagnosed in early 2006 with an anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor. Meyers, now 39, is taking expensive chemotherapy medication at home as he continues fighting the brain cancer.

A benefit to help with medical expenses is planned for 5 p.m. Saturday. It will be at the old Eli Whitney Fire Department at 3917 E. Greensboro-Chapel Hill Road in southern Alamance County.

The fundraiser will include $8 dinner plates with barbecue chicken, slaw, baked beans, roll and a drink. Eat-in and take-out orders will be taken.

A silent auction will include gift baskets and gift cards to area businesses.

“I just picked up three autographed shirts signed by Roy Williams,” Steve Meyers said.

Other opportunities to help Meyers will include a bake sale, and a sale of crafts and products such as Mary Kay and Avon cosmetics. Donations to help Meyers and his family will be accepted.

Scott is married to Bridget Meyers and is the father of three sons — Tyler, 17, Brandon, 14 and Dylan, 11.

A flier advertising the event says Meyers has been through radiation, chemotherapy and other treatments.

“Due to his physical deterioration, he is no longer able to operate a motor vehicle and is no longer able to work,” the flier says. He is on disability and expects to soon lose his medical insurance.

“It’s really tough,” Steve Meyers said. “He’s had three or four major surgeries,” and cancer treatments have resulted in serious side effects.

Meyers said people who want to come earlier than 5 p.m. Saturday are welcome to do that. He expects family and friends will be there beginning about 1 p.m. Besides serving as a fundraiser, he said, the event is meant to allow people to meet Scott Meyers and his family and to enjoy holiday fellowship.

Anyone who has questions or who would like to make a donation is asked to call Steve Meyers at 336-512-7007.

One Boy’s Mission to Ensure Sick Children Do Not Miss Out On Halloween

Boy, 6, with brain cancer starts Halloween costume drive for sick children

Courtesy Marlene Castro

At left, brain cancer patient Nico Castro as Batman. At right, Nico from about a month before he was diagnosed. Nico’s mother said he likes wearing Halloween masks because they make him look like a regular kid since the chemo and radiation have left him without hair.

By Jasmin Aline Persch, TODAY contributor

At his costume drive last Thursday for children who have to spend Halloweenin the hospital, Nico Castro – a 6-year-old who’s battling brain cancer – ran around as a “Star Wars” Stormtrooper.

“Which one’s the sick child?” a donator asked his mom Marlene Castro, she recounted to “You can’t see he has no hair with the helmet,” said Castro. “He’s running around. It’s nice to keep things normal as possible for him. We’re limited.”

Nico was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, which is cancer of the cerebellum (that’s Latin for the “little brain,” which is important for balance and movement), last November and has spent holidays in the hospital near his home in San Bruno, California. He kept asking whether he’d be able to celebrate Halloween, his favorite holiday, and when his treatment schedule cleared for Oct. 31, he was ecstatic at first – and then he quickly grew concerned about children too sick to leave the hospital for the costume-and-candy filled day.

“Halloween’s my favorite,” Nico told “I don’t want them to miss out on the candy.”

He initially wanted to buy costumes for all the sick children at Target, but the Castro’s finances are tighter now because of his cancer treatment so his parents suggested a drive. The family ended up purchasing a few items to ensure they had something for everybody, such as masks for kids who can’t don full-body suits and fun sock booties for walking around the pediatric wards. And the drive is bringing in a slew of Halloween costumes, books and games.

Bob Marshall’s real estate office, next to Nico’s dad’s automotive business where last Thursday’s drive took place, donated a bag of costumes. He estimates about 100 people turned out, and most surprising was seeing Nico, who often has to stay inside because of his weakened immune system.

Courtesy Marlene Castro

Nico dressed up as a Storm Trooper at a Halloween drive he and his family threw last week.

“He was all dressed up and running around and trying to talk to people. With the chemo and everything he’s going through, he’s very quiet and very tired all the time,” Marshall said. “To see him active was a really good thing.”

When asked how he decided to help the children at the hospital celebrate Halloween, Nico told “I just had the idea.”

His idea even surprised his parents.

“We do instill being considerate of others who don’t have as much as we do even though we don’t have that much. We donate all the time for holidays, always a boy and girl toy,” Castro, 44,  said. “It did surprise me because of his age. He’s aware and sensitive to kids who can’t go trick or treating.”

She thinks her son has a special bond with the other children at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center. He cries a lot when he’s there, missing his brother, sister and dog and one night when he was especially inconsolable, an older patient sharing the room comforted him, Castro recalls. Recently, Nico’s gotten better, walking the halls looking into the rooms at the other children, asking what’s wrong and if they’ll be alright.

“He feels like he has a connection to the kids that are there,” she says. “He hasn’t been able to go to school since last November. Play dates are difficult because his (blood counts) are low. The kids he sees the most are the kids in the hospital. He thinks of them as friends. They’re sick and they have something in common.”

The community of San Bruno, Calif., about 10 miles south of San Francisco, has also rallied around Nico. Friends pitch in to carpool the Castro’s other children to their afterschool activities, cook or drop off dinner and donate cards for gas and groceries. Nico’s 11-year-old sister, who now wants to be a nurse, also collected notes from students and teachers at school on a card for her little brother.

“They’re a really positive family,” said Marshall, a family friend who has pitched in at their automotive business when they were supporting Nico in the hospital. Some students at Junipero Serra High School, where Marshall is the wrestling coach, organized a car wash to raise money for the family, he added.

Nico’s prognosis is good and his cancer has not spread, doctors told Castro. He hit a low after his initial surgery though: He developed posterior fossa syndrome, causing him to lose his ability to speak, walk, even swallow. Nico had to spend two and a half months in the hospital and go through intensive rehabilitation. On his current chemotherapy regiment, he’s out of the hospital more than in but his next rounds aren’t like clockwork, hinging on how quickly his immune system can recover.

“His body has taken a hit from chemo and radiation, but his spirit is so spunky,” Castro said. “He’s bound and determined to not let it get to him. He makes the best of the bad situation. I learn so much from him. I learn every day. The fact the he feels crummy and thinks of others… He’s doing well.”

And Nico’s Halloween spirit is as strong as ever. Last year, he went as Batman, whose cartoons he watches. This year, he’s upgrading to the Dark Knight. Why?

“Because I like Batman,” Nico said.

His mom said he also likes that the mask conceals his bald head so he looks like a regular kid.

But as a 6-year-old fighting – and beating – brain cancer with the compassion to bring Halloween to other children like him, he’s so much more.

Nico’s Halloween drive is ongoing. Donators can bring or send new, packaged Halloween costumes to his dad’s automotive company:

C&C Automotive Refinishing
860 San Mateo Ave.
San Bruno, CA 94066 contributor Jasmin Aline Persch is imagining the looks on the children’s faces when Nico hands out the Halloween costumes in the hospital. What a treat!