Jackson-Reed students race to fund cancer research

Isabelle Posner Brown , Junior Editor

My twin sister, Sophie Posner-Brown, a sophomore at Jackson-Reed, is a brain cancer survivor. 13 years ago, my family decided to join the Race for Hope, an annual 5k to raise awareness and funds that support the needs of brain tumor survivors and their families.   

As we start the new year, our team, Team Sophie Bear, is up and running with the hopes of getting runners and walkers alike to join our efforts to end brain cancer

Team Sophie Bear started out as a small group of family members supporting a two year old brain cancer patient. The team has grown to be a team of more than 50 friends, family members, and supporters. This year, the Race for Hope community race will take place on May 7, 2023 downtown at Freedom Plaza.

DC’s Race for Hope is the largest brain tumor community event in the United States. Last year, the Race for Hope celebrated its 25th anniversary with over 5,000 participants and raised $1.5 million.

More money is needed to fund clinical trials for brain tumor research so children do not have to go through the dangerous and exhaustive process of trial and error to find the right treatment like my sister did. 

Due to the limited amount of FDA approved treatments for brain tumors, Sophie endured three dangerous brain surgeries, all before the age of six, and has been on five different types of chemotherapy regimens between the ages of 2-10 years old. 

After her tumor regrew when she was four, her medical team explored different options until she was finally eligible for a Phase II clinical trial. The team was testing the effectiveness of a new oral chemotherapy on pediatric brain tumors that are called astrocytomas and gliomas. This trial is now in Phase IV. The dosing efficacy has improved, is much more widely available to pediatric cancer patients. 

This year will be Team Sophie Bear’s 13th year participating. The DCPS community has often supported the Team; former Horace Mann students may remember the annual Team Sophie Bear bake sale. The team has also been ranked in the top 10 fundraising teams twice and has a couple of corporate sponsorships from Tenleytown businesses. In previous years, team members have finished as top finalists for the timed portion of the race. 

Help us celebrate Sophie’s eighth year chemo-free by supporting people with brain tumors and raising money for more research to find cures. The atmosphere is hopeful and energetic as we cheer Sophie and other survivors as they cross the starting line. Sign up or donate by going to linktr.ee/teamsophiebear, where you can ask questions, register and more! •