Bounce Back! 24-Hour Basketball Relay Fights Rare Cancer

March 28, 2005

Fran Simon
Phone: 504-247-1425

NEW ORLEANS - Twenty-four participants aim to set a world record for a 24-hour basketball dribbling relay on April 23 - 24 to support research into a rare cancer. The event is planned in memory of Tulane University medical student Andy Martin, who lost his battle with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC) in November, 2004.

During the last years of his life, Martin and a team of researchers grew Martin's own cancer cells in the lab in order to study the cancer. As a result, Tulane is the only university in the nation researching the cancer with live cells. SNUC is such a rare cancer that Martin was one of only 100 people diagnosed with the disease since 1986. Very little funding exists at the federal level for research into rare cancers. Funds raised for the research through events have supported the hiring of a research fellow dedicated to expanding the field further.

Bounce Back! will start at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23, and will continue through 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24 at the Danny Thiel Track on the Tulane campus uptown.

The first Bounce for Lifeý event occurred Dec. 15 - 16, 2003. Martin's mentor, Tyler Curiel, chief of hematology and medical oncology at Tulane, broke the world record for distance dribbling a basketball over a 24-hour period. Curiel, who is an ultra-marathon runner, dribbled over 108 miles. That event launched a fund-raising effort that has generated about $180,000 over the past year to support the research.

Bounce for Lifeý is partnering with the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans to present the event on April 23, will include the sale of silver jewelry designed by Martin. Tulane Soundwave will perform trackside on April 23 from 4 - 5 p.m. and the Tulane Music and Medicine Society will provide music from 7 - 10 p.m.

"By taking up his jewelry designs, showing his pieces and having the opportunity to contribute the proceeds to the Bounce for Life cause, I have been able to continue Andy's passions - both artistic and scientific," says his sister, Avril Jensen, who will be at the event. Jensen explains that designing the pieces was a creative outlet for Martin as he battled the cancer, both in his body and in the lab.

People interested in volunteering or making tax-free donations can contact Bounce for Lifeý at or 504.988.8840. For more information about Andy Martin, his jewelry and the Bounce organization, go to:

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000