Run, walk, or cheer on all participating in the 2nd Annual Dean Paras Memorial 5K on Sunday, October 13th at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio. In-person registration begins at 11:30 am and the Run/Walk starts at 1:00 pm. Michael Papanikolaou has organized the event in memory of his cousin, Dean Paras, who lost his battle with neuroendocrine cancer at the age of 26 in December 2011.
The Run/Walk is both an opportunity to raise awareness of this often misdiagnosed rare disease and to support life-saving research. Last year’s event, with more than 300 participants, raised over $29,000 for NET cancer research, supporting, in part, the research of Dr. Eric Liu, Director of the Neuroendocrine Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dean was a graduate of University School, Duke University, and Vanderbilt University, where he was awarded his doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering. While at Vanderbilt, Dean and his team developed and produced a device for use in parathyroid and thyroid surgery that has been patented and is being produced for use in operating rooms. According to his cousin, Michael, “It is impossible to know what other great things he may have accomplished, but he has inspired in many a desire to move forward, to learn, and to make a difference.”
Carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), including pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, paragangliomas, pheochromocytomas and neuroendocrine carcinomas, are rare diseases, often misdiagnosed as more common illnesses, and patients frequently experience symptoms for more than 5 years before receiving a proper diagnosis. Awareness of carcinoid/NETs is critical, both in the healthcare community and the public, for patients to receive a proper diagnosis, timely treatment, and appropriate follow up.