Student Racing to Dublin to Find Cure for Cancer

June 28, 2005

Contact: Luke Frank 272-3679; Jenny Savage272-3690


Neha Zalavadia, a graduate student of occupational therapy at the University of New Mexico , will travel to Dublin , Ireland at the end of October to run a marathon in honor of a six year old child diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The marathon is being sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Jaiden Patel, diagnosed with Juvenile Pilcytic Astrocytoma at only two and a half years old, has already been given the maximum allowable radiation for his life span and receives physical, occupational, and vision therapy each week. Zalavadia and Patel met through a family friend, and the two have developed a special relationship. "I know that Jaiden does not have any of the particular cancers that have been directly addressed by the mission statement of [The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society], however one of the goals of the society is that research is continuously conducted for all types of cancer," said Zalavadia.

The 26.2 mile run will be a first for Zalavadia, who believes passionately in cancer research and has been fundraising for months to raise the $5,300 she has pledged to the cause.

The marathon has been set up by Team in Training, a non-profit organization associated with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Proceeds from the race benefit not only the research committed to finding new cures and treatments for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, but also provide critical education, services and support to patients and families battling these cancers.

To donate directly online,

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