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Daily Herald

Grief turns to something positive
By Eileen O. Daday
Daily Herald Correspondent
Posted Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More than 140 supporters braved Friday’s snowstorm, in order to celebrate life, they said.

They gathered at Casa Royale Banquets in Des Plaines, driven by the memory of a Des Plaines woman who was diagnosed with a brain tumor three months after her marriage.

Friday would have been Lori Arquilla Andersen’s birthday, and for the last two years, a fundraising dinner has taken place on that day, allowing family and friends the chance to turn their grief into something positive.

This year, half of the crowd was new, having been drawn by the chance to fight brain cancer, and aid in the research led by Dr. Jeffrey Raizer, a neuro-oncologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Even Illinois’ two senators, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Richard Durbin, sent notes of encouragement to the event’s organizers, and invited them to visit in Washington, during this year’s North American Brain Tumor Coalition for Brain Tumor Action Week, slated for the first week in May.

Raizer addressed the crowd, updating them on the latest developments from the hospital’s brain tumor research trials.

“It’s a very upbeat evening, filled with laughter and hope,” said Linda Magiera of Des Plaines, Andersen’s mother.

Funds raised were earmarked for Northwestern’s Brain Tumor Research Fund, as well as the Lori Arquilla Andersen Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness and funds, with the hopes of finding a cure.

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