According to the National Brain Tumor Society, nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor — and an estimated 69,000 will receive this devastating diagnosis this year, with more than 4,000 being children.
One of those young people was Old Bridge resident Tara Mitchell (pictured). In the early part of her senior year in high school, she began to suffer unbearable headaches and double vision. A shocking diagnosis revealed a brain tumor, which required several surgeries and yet stubbornly returned.
Explaining that she has “become accepting of the cards I’ve been dealt,” Tara decided that “my fire is lit” — and that fire led her to become involved with the NBTS, where she functioned as the acting Volunteer Chairperson for its New York City Walk. That experience tasked her to help spearhead a walk in her home state — and on the morning of Saturday April 2, the Asbury Park boardwalk will be the setting for New Jersey’s first-ever Brain Tumor Walk. Starting at the Sunset Avenue Pavilion just north of Convention Hall, the event is one for which the organizer hopes to draw the participation of others similarly afflicted by brain tumors — as well as a support network of family members, friends and neighbors like Red Bank’s Karen Zerbo, contact person for the Walk and a close personal friend of the Mitchell family.