5K brings hope for brain cancer fighters

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

FAIRFAX, Va. – Karen Zvorski calls her 7-year-old daughter’s brain tumor a “horrible, horrible monster.”

She attended the Run Rogue 5K race that raises money and awareness for cancer but it also raises hope.

Now in its second year, the race was held at the Fairfax Corner Shopping Center Saturday morning. It benefits “Life with Cancer” and the “Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure.”

The race was started last year in honor of BethAnn Telford, who’s been fighting a brain tumor for eight years, and in honor of Vanessa Spiller, who’s in remission from breast cancer.

Zvorski says being at the race was emotional and awesome. She and her daughter Anya came from Camp Hill, Pa., near Harrisburg, for the race.

Before meeting Telford, the Zvorski family was just trying to deal with Anya’s brain tumor. Now they’re raising money and fighting back.

Telford works to bring attention to brain tumors and she’s fighting for young cancer patients like Anya.


Bethann Telford speaks after the race with Madeline Baet, 9 of Leesburg; Anya Zvorski, 7 of Camp Hill, Pa.; and Tara Sankner, 8 of Fairfax, at her side. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

After the race she took to the stage to talk to the audience. “I’m not well but I want to fight on,” she says.

She was joined on stage by Anya and two other children, who are all battling brain cancer.

Telford says when she needs inspiration she looks at the tattoo on her inside wrist that reads simply, “Hope.”

Telford has completed marathons and Ironman competitions. But Saturday she completed the 5K in a wheel chair as she is still recovering from a recent surgery.

Tammy Sankner’s, of Fairfax, and her 8-year-old daughter, Tara, both attended the race. Tara was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and Sankner says being at the race was amazing.

“It lifts you up and makes you realize there is hope to battle this ugly disease,” Sankner says.

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