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May 2, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU physical therapy students raise funds in marathon

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – A team comprised of students, faculty and friends of Tom Widenhofer, a former Slippery Rock University student, will put on their running shoes for Saturday’s 2012 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon to raise money for St. Jude’s Research Hospital in support of the care it has provided the young man.

Widenhofer, 19, was forced to withdraw from SRU just three weeks into fall semester after his glioblastoma brain tumor returned following a five-year remission. He was first diagnosed at age 14.

The SRU physical therapy student from Slippery Rock, returned to St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tenn., to continue treatments.

The running team supporting Widenhofer has already raised $5,000 and is looking to add $2,500 by running in Saturday’s event.

Participating will be Barbara Billek-Sawhney, associate professor in SRU’s School of Physical Therapy, and SRU physical therapy students Mary Gorham from Mill Hall, Beth Ann Witt from Erie, Aubree Erlandson from Murrysville, Courtney Dalrymple from Pittsfield, Gabrielle Fagan from Youngstown, Ohio, and Stephanie Zaucha from Indiana, Pa. Others joining SRU’s St. Jude’s Hero team are Gabriel Sawhney, Rajiv Sawhney, Victoria Sawhney, Tyler Widenhofer, Suzanne Cavanaugh, David White and Samantha Drohan, all from Butler.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the team should contact Billek-Sawheny at 724.738.2759 or

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.