State legistature to recognize May 9 as 'Louisiana Gray Day' to promote brain cancer awareness

Photo provided by LSU Health Foundation
Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 1:30pm

A Harahan family hopes to raise awareness about brain cancer in a gray way. The Leingang family has been honoring Gary Leingang’s memory by declaring May 9 – his birthday – “Gray Day” and is urging everyone to wear gray that day.

This year, the Louisiana Legislature will take part with a resolution in Baton Rouge marking May 9 as “Louisiana Gray Day” annually, and each legislator will receive gray brain cancer awareness ribbons. Gray Day supporters, their families and friends have distributed thousands of gray ribbons throughout Louisiana and several states in the U.S.

“My husband, Gary Leingang, died from brain cancer in 2010 and one of the last things he asked us to do was to make something good come of his death. We are hoping that citizens throughout the state will join our crusade to raise awareness by wearing gray on Thursday, May 9,” Leingang said.

Leingang is a teacher at St George’s Episcopal School where the first Gray Day events were held. Each year, the entire student body along with all faculty and staff at St. George’s School, have worn gray ribbons and held awareness activities such as a haunted house where bracelets and brain cancer stickers were given out. This year, the school will have an awareness walk. The Leingangs hope that other schools will hold activities as well. Gary Leingang was a 30- year veteran teacher at the time of his death. For assistance in setting up activities, email

In addition, the Leingang family, along with Mary Dalili, whose mother also died from brain cancer, will host a kickball tournament to raise money for the American Brain Tumor Association each year. This year’s tournament will be held in October.

• Brain cancer is one of the most incurable forms of cancer.

• 1 in approximately 170 men and women born today will be diagnosed with brain cancer during their lifetime.

• Brain tumors are the third leading cause of cancer in children, but the #1 solid tumor cancer cause of death.

For those wishing to support neuro-oncology research, donations may be made to the LSU Health Sciences Foundation’s Kelsey Bradley Favrot Chair in neuro-oncology to increase brain cancer research resources in Louisiana. Visit: 


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