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"Angels Among Us" Race for Research

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RALEIGH — Brain tumors do not discriminate; they can strike anyone at any time, and they do. One local couple hopes to turn its loss into a victory for anyone diagnosed with a tumor.

After her daily radiation treatments at the Duke Brain Tumor Center, 28-year-old Kristi Carzoli heads to the office.

"I feel like I'm living proof of what research can do," Carzoli says.

She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in August, had surgery, and is now fighting it with radiation and chemotherapy.

She credits her recovery to the Duke Brain Tumor Center. "They were awesome. They gave me so much hope, they were so positive. They basically are my family," Carzoli says.

Karen and Andy McDaniel lost their 7-year-old son Ross to a brain tumor in 1995. Now they are working with other victims' families to raise money for research by hosting a 5K run at Duke.

"We had suffered and so many families had suffered and we wanted to do what we could," Andy McDaniel says.

"We had to channel our energies somehow into something positive, turn something so horrible that happened to our son Ross and make it positive," Karen McDaniel says. "This is how we've focused our efforts. It helps with the loss and the pain."

Carzoli hopes the run will be one small step forward toward the rest of her life. "There's no doubt that I'm going to beat this at all," she says.

The Angels Among Us 5K and Family Fun Walk will be held March 27 at Duke University's Wallace Wade Stadium.

The event will also feature food, entertainment and lots of activities for children.