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8,000 People Join the Team Sarcoma Initiative to Fight a Rare Cancer
Date:8/4/2008

do something in Ryan's memory to promote sarcoma awareness and raise research funds, so he planned two events in Boone, NC, during International Sarcoma Awareness Week. "My initial hopes were a handful of Ryan's friends participating in the "Grind" (a skating competition) and possibly 40-50 friends and family in the run. As it turned out, we had 35 skaters from as far away as Atlanta, GA, and almost 100 runners. Hundreds of people in the area learned about sarcoma for the first time."

Rhonda Williams of Baton Rouge, LA, wanted to increase awareness in her state as well. Though the grueling treatment for synovial sarcoma kept her from planning an event, she decided to send letters to her friends and family asking for $5 donations. She raised more than $6,000 for sarcoma research. "I am so delighted with this amount, as I never thought in my wildest dreams that this little letter writing campaign would generate such a tremendous response. I'm receiving so many notes from people thanking me for helping to bring sarcoma awareness to the people of this state."

The Team Sarcoma Initiative has an international scope, and about half of the participants were involved in events outside of the United States. In Mexico City, more than 1,900 people joined in the "Sarcoma Knows No Borders Race and Walk" on July 20. One by one, survivors crossed the finished line: a child using crutches, another child wearing a mask to spare his immune system, and an amputee waving his arms in victory.

In China, physicians and nurses at TianJin Cancer Hospital held seminars and offered free consultations in person and online. More than 600 people were reached during the week, many in outlying areas who needed information and assistance.

Medical centers around the world participated in the Team Sarcoma Initiative. Dr. David Malkin of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, said, "This is a remarkable coming
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