Welcome to the Fundraising Page for Mara Harris!

Friends and Family,

I will be running the New York City Marathon on November 5th in memory of my friend Elizabeth (Liz) Minter, who passed away at 21 from a rare, inoperable brain tumor. My goal is to raise $10,000 for Elizabeth’s Hope, the charity organization she founded with her neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield. The charity was the genesis for and now falls under the umbrella of the Children’s Brain Tumor Project (CBTP) at Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center in NYC, run by Dr. Greenfield and his partner, Dr. Souweidane.

The money raised will go to a lab at Weill Cornell, full of neuroscience researchers whose goal is to bring hope to the hundreds of patients and families each year forced to confront the diagnoses of rare and inoperable pediatric brain tumors.

I ask that you take a few moments to read the below – some facts about pediatric and adolescent brain cancer and why I believe in this cause and organization so much.

After reading, please consider making a donation – any amount will help (and below I’ve outlined where your $$s will go ☺)

These cancers are rare and therefore not frequently discussed. Currently, some of these cancers have a very small percentage of survival, and some have a zero percent chance of survival. If your child, niece, nephew, grandchild, family friend, etc. were diagnosed today or in the near future, they’d face these devastating percentages. Look at this as an investment in the future.

Donations to help make advancements today will give families and children more hope and a greater chance of survival in the future.

Thank you for your support,

Pediatric and adolescent brain tumor facts:
• It is estimated that 7 children die per day due to brain tumors
• The average age at diagnoses is 6 years old
• When a child dies of cancer, it represents an average of 71 years of lost life
• For rare and inoperable brain tumors, there has been no significant increase in survival rates in decades. For many of these tumors, there is no survival rate at all
• Pediatric brain cancer is the leading cause of disease deaths among those under 19
• In 2016, it was projected that more than 4,300 children will be diagnosed with a primary brain tumor (equivalent of 12 new diagnoses every day)
• Only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s research funding goes to pediatric cancer – and that’s all children’s cancers. Only a fraction of that 4% goes to brain cancer research

What the CBTP does (note, this is just some, not all):
• Dedicated lab at Weill Cornell with some of the best neuroscience researchers using state of the art technology to find cures for rare and inoperable pediatric brain tumors
o Preeminent lab that has made major advancements in Gliomatosis Cerebri and DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma)
• The team has a multi-pronged approach to the research, which when combined, results in individualized treatment plans for each patient, as no cancer is the same:
o Genomic sequencing
o Alternative delivery methods
o Basic science research
o Immune-oncology
• Clinical trials
• Legacy Tissue Donation Program
o Looks at malignant brain tissue on a cellular, molecular, and genetic level to better understand tumors and may lead to more effective patient-tailored therapies
• Is a leader in the annual international Gliomatosis Cerebri Conference, which also is funded privately by families

Donations to Elizabeth’s Hope, and thus the CBTP, goes towards all things happening in/outside of the lab, such as:
• General maintenance and upkeep of the lab – rent, management, cleaning, etc.
• Lab equipment
• Compensation for lab staff
• Clinical trials

  • Fundraising Goal: $10000

  • Amount Raised: $6108

  • Current Race: 2017 TCS NYC Marathon

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Stephanie A Liff Liff says

Have a great run!


You go girl!

Dresner Family says

Mara, wishing you a great run for a great causeThe Dresner Family

Julie Pillion says

Beautifully written, Mara! Here’s to another step (or race!) towards a cure. Liz would be so proud of you.


Michael and I are so grateful, proud, and excited!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. xo

Marissa Ellstein Ellstein says

Mara, we are SO proud of you – for your volunteer and leadership efforts around this important cause, as well as for your dedication and drive exhibited in your training for the marathon. We gladly donate to this cause and you! Love, Marissa and Josh

gail and Jerry Ellstein says


So proud of you!!!!
Gail and Jerry

Nick Stamatiadis says

Worthy cause. Well done Mara.

Deirdre Eliopoulos says

Go! Small but mighty Mara!

Joshua Ellstein says

Good Luck Mara.

Love Abe, Oscar, Rebecca + Josh

Honorata Zaklicki says

Proud of you Mara!

James D Fitzgerald James D Fitzgerald says

Have a good run!

david dresner dresner says

Good luck Mara!

Kristin Rachlin Rachlin says

Amazing! Go Mara, Go!


Allison Zeid Lefkowitz says

Best of luck running the marathon!

Sharon & Alan Miretzky says

Go Marams Go!

Allie Zachar says

Good luck Mara!! ??????‍♀️ xoxo

cynthia ahmuty says

Have a great run! I am sure Elizabeth will be looking down at you when you cross the finish line.

Tessa Naso says

Couldn’t be more grateful that Liz brought us together. You are amazing, good luck!! xoxo Tessa

Molly Cornbrooks says

You got this marmar! Proud of you <3

Rachel Campanelli says

Go Mara!

Steve Kaminsky says

GO MARA! see you out there 🙂

Lauren Porter says

Run Mara run! So proud of you 🙂

Lindsay Flight says

Amazing & inspiring – good luck!

Jess Demakos says

Good luck Mara!!

Patricia Halloran says

If you run for Liz, it has to be with a big laugh and lots of joy.Pat and Randy

Julie Cantelon says

Go Mara! You are amazing!!!

J. Paige Grand Pre says

Good luck this weekend, and thanks for running for such a worthy cause!

Tyler King says

Good luck!

Trey and Perry Minter says

What a great friend! Thanks for supporting the cause and have a great race!

Mona Clancy Howe says

Elizabeth passed away soon after we met Dr Greenfield who did surgery on my then 4 year old grand daughter.. He makes me proud of humanity. Thank you for your remembrance of your friend !

Kelly Whipple says

So proud of you!

Will Minter says

Will and Hannah Minter- Good luck and thank you!

Linda Stern says

Good Luck tomorrow Mara! So proud of you running for such a good cause.

debbie sharpe says

Go Mara Go! Love you.

Kendra Iozzo says

Mara we are so proud of you!!! Have a great run!! We can’t wait to track you along the way ? love you!
Kendra and Justin

Joanne Taylor Taylor says

Hi, Mara,
It’s wonderful that you and John do this. I’m sorry we won’t see you at Nate’s wedding Saturday, but I hope you have a great time at your friend’s wedding.