13: BethAnn Telford: Brain Cancer and Beyond
Brain Cancer. Wow. BethAnn Telford, in 2004, while running the Marine Corps Marathon, she felt a “pop” in her head around mile marker nineteen and over the next couple of months started to experience problems with her balance and unclear thoughts.
After several weeks of tests in the early winter of 2005, she learned she had a brain tumor and that her life would forever be changed. In April of 2005, she had her first brain surgery and had to learn to walk, talk, and move all over again. As her rehabilitation began, she was determined to run again. Six weeks later she ran her first 5K race and trained throughout the summer to run and finish the Marine Corps Marathon. Stopping at mile marker nineteen to say reflect on her journey and to silently thank her doctors, family and friends that have supported her during her struggles.
Since then, BethAnn has undergone a second brain surgery, a nuerostimulator implant and bladder augmentation surgery for issues related to her brain cancer. Through it all, Beth has competed and finished Boston Marathons (six (6) times), Marine Corp Marathons (thirteen (13) times), the Lake Placid Ironman (twice (2)), the Kona Ironman World Championships (in 2012), and Crossing the Canyon (a 9 hour rim-to-rim trek of the Grand Canyon). She has currently completed an epic adventure in January 2017, the World Marathon Challenge, which consists of running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.
In addition to her pushing her physical boundaries, BethAnn has dedicated herself to helping raise awareness of brain cancer and toward finding a cure. BethAnn founded Team BT as part of the Race for Hope - DC 5K Run/Walk and has helped raise more than $800,000 for brain cancer research. She has participated in countless charity and fund raising events, including rappelling down the side of a skyscraper as part of an ABC2 event to help raise awareness and funds for brain cancer research. In addition to fund raising, BethAnn has testified before an FDA committee on the benefits of advance drug therapies, advocated through lobbying Congress, and advocated as part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and White House briefing since the fall of 2014. She has also had two (2) NBTS grants awarded to the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Florida in her name and been awarded the Triumph of Spirit award. She has also been featured in countless articles, news stories including the front page of the Washington Post, and has been featured in a Discovery Program documentary.
ABC2 breaks through the boundaries of academia, nonprofits, industries and other research fields to find the cure. To reach new treatments faster, we're helping our partners connect, learning from our failures and sharing one another's successes.
As venture philanthropists, we “buy down the risk” for researchers to connect with the companies that can develop new patient treatments. We have to push more research through that drug development “Valley of Death” before we can start learning from results — from successes and failures.
By challenging long-held attitudes about brain cancer research, we’re charting a more direct course towards the cure.
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