Leaders with the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind hope to surpass $1 million raised for brain tumor research since walk started in 2003

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Saturday at the Peoria RiverPlex, a group participated in the 19th annual Mark Linder Walk for the Mind.

Mark’s sister and Walk for the Mind Chair Stacie Hansen said Mark started the walk for the mind in 2003.

It’s an event where brain tumor survivors could gather with their loved ones, supporting each other and raising money for brain tumor research.

“He (Mark) felt very alone when he received his diagnosis, because he had never met anyone else with a brain tumor, and so he didn’t have anyone he could go to, to talk to and share experiences, and that really is what drove him to create the Walk for the Mind,” said Hansen.

Mark died from his brain tumor in 2005, but 16 years later his sister Stacie said this walk continues to raise awareness and support for brain tumor survivors, and those still fighting.

“Our 19th year we’re hoping to surpass a million dollars raised for brain tumor research since the walk began, and I just think he would be so pleased and tickled to see the walk grow year after year and to see how much it means to people to be able to gather together and celebrate each other and support each other,” said Hansen.

Mark Alig, a two-time brain tumor survivor, said getting together with other survivors is a great feeling.

“Going through this twice, it means so much to me, it also means a lot to see the people who actually kind of get the weight lifted off their shoulders knowing there’s a whole group, a whole community out here,” said Alig.

He hopes to spread the message to other survivors who don’t know about this support.

“One of the big things we still gotta do is we gotta do a much better job of getting the message out to so many other people who have went through this ordeal and don’t know about our organization and don’t know about our event,” said Alig.

Money raised goes to brain tumor research locally at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

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