Purdue Challenge aims to raise awareness, funds for cancer research

April 6, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue football coach Danny Hope and the university's Center for Cancer Research are continuing the fight against cancer by supporting the fifth annual Purdue Challenge, a 5K run/walk, on April 14.

Hope is the event's spokesperson for the third consecutive year as he lends his name to helping raise awareness and funds in the battle against cancer.

"Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer or has been affected personally," Hope said. "Our community should be proud of the tremendous research being conducted right here on the Purdue campus. By taking part in the Challenge, you can help raise money that will be used to help fight and find a cure for this terrible disease."

Purdue President France A. Córdova will speak prior to participating in the event.

The Purdue Challenge 5K run/walk, a 3.1-mile race, is open to the public and will begin at 8:30 a.m. It will start and finish at Ross-Ade Stadium. All proceeds benefit the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, one of just seven National Cancer Institute-designated basic research facilities in the United States. Participants may sign up at http://www.thepurduechallenge.com

The Challenge also offers "Sleep-in for the Challenge," for those who can't participate but still wish to contribute. Participants in the "Sleep-in" aspect will still receive a goodie-bag and T-shirt.

In 2011 there were more than 1,800 participants in the race.

Timothy Ratliff, the Robert Wallace Director of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, knows the impact cancer can have on families and is excited about the support.

"We're extremely appreciative of this kind of effort to help us fight this horrible disease, and we thank everyone who participates," he said. "We've made great strides in early detection and reducing deaths caused by cancer, but there is still so much more to be done."

The Cuonzo Martin Student Participation Award enters its fifth year and goes to the student organization with the highest percentage of members participating in the race. Martin, the men's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, is a former Purdue standout who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 1997. He has been in remission for more than a decade and was The Challenge's spokesperson for the inaugural race in 2008.

The Danny Hope Community Participation Award enters its third year and goes to the organization with the highest percentage of members participating in the race.

The names of organizations winning the Cuonzo Martin Student Participation and Danny Hope Community Participation awards will be engraved on plaques kept at the Purdue Center for Cancer Research.

The Purdue Center for Cancer Research was founded in 1978 and attempts to identify new molecular targets and design future agents and drugs for effectively detecting and treating cancer.

Writer: Brian Peloza, 765-494-2081, bpeloza@purdue.edu

Source: Julie Hendon, 765-494-1109, julieh@purdue.edu