SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – The Grey Matters Walk in Sharpsville was created to help fund brain tumor research after the creator was also diagnosed with a brain tumor over 10 years ago.
Brian Skibo wanted to create the event after his own diagnosis with a brain tumor in 2012.
In 2016, his symptoms started getting more severe, forcing him to undergo expensive treatment.
“We’ve known Brian for a few years, and we feel it’s really important to support our local folks,” friend Ben Houston said.
Skibo says that in the past 30 years, there have only been a few FDA-approved treatments for brain tumors; he hopes more research will help lessen the cost.
“One pill cost $2,000, then the other treatment for it, two pills that were another $2,000, and then I.V. … on top of that,” Skibo said. “That’s the thing about brain tumor patients is that, annually, they can come up to about $100,000 a year to treat brain tumors.”
The event included a “touch-a-truck” event and fun walk and run at the Trout Island Trail.
Skibo surpassed his fundraising goal of $5,000 even before Sunday’s event.
“e surpassed the goal — which shows me how great this community is. The Hermitage community and the Shenango Valley as a whole really came through,” he said.
Around 40 people participated in the walk and run.
“A lot of people love running, and it’s kind of important for people to know the research for brain cancer,” participant Luke Baker said.
Skibo is beyond thankful for the encouragement he’s received along his difficult journey.
“People that I haven’t even met before, supporting this cause, is just unbelievable how this entire community has come together for this event,” he said.
“Even if its monetary donations — or when he has events, rallies, walks — we should all participate and be a part of, spread the word,” said participant Lashana Barnett, of Hermitage.
The $6,000 raised will go toward funding brain tumor research and creating FDA-approved treatments.