After being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Peoria native Mark Linder felt alone. 

Mark Linder-Purple Tshirt

Every year over 86,000 Americans are living with a primary brain tumor. Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males aged 20-39 and the 5th leading cause of death in women aged 20-39. They are also the 2nd most common solid tumor in children. 

Mark was only in his 20’s when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A Peoria native, he graduated from Richwood High School and then Southern Illinois University in 1997. He completed his studies for a Masters degree in Industrial Occupational Psychology in 1997 from Western Kentucky University.

Mark’s goal was to create a place where brain tumor survivors and those still fighting the battle can come and support one another in this battle. In an effort to reach out to other brain tumor survivors and to help raise funds for brain tumor research, Mark founded the Walk for the Mind in 2003. The Walk is a way to unite those individuals and their families as well as to raise funds to support brain tumor research in hopes to find a cure.

Sadly, Linder lost his battle in 2005 at the age of 31 but not before he got to see his vision making a difference. Re-named after his death, the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind now attracts over 1000 participants from all over Central Illinois.  For the eighth year, all net proceeds will be donated to the “Brain Tumor Research Program” at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.