Harry first became involved with Head for the Cure in 2003 as a friend of Matt Anthony, to support the Anthony Family in memory of Chris Anthony. Matt and Ann Anthony were called to Chris’ hospital bedside the night of our engagement party in February earlier that year. Then just 10 months after our wedding and four months after that first HFTC event, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
My husband has been my biggest supporter since my diagnosis on February 6, 2004, and after May 17, 2004, when I learned I had an inoperable Grade 2 Astrocytoma.
Our HFTC team is named “Team Kris Campbell,” but that’s for ease of registration only. There are so many people that make the team possible, and none more so than Harry. Our team exceeded the milestone of $500,000 raised last year, in great part because of how Harry has rallied coworkers and friends, both in KC and across the country, to support the cause.
In 2011, Harry started planning a keynote speech on leadership and wanted to support HFTC with his efforts. He chose for 100% of his gross speaking fees, and all of his book proceeds, to directly benefit HFTC. He recently passed $500,000 raised for HFTC since 2012, between Get-Real Leadership in 2012, and then Get-Real Culture in 2016, and finally Get-Real Mindset in 2020.
But it’s his optimism that has helped me the most personally.
I was blessed to become a stepmom when I married Harry, but we’d also planned to have more children. Following my diagnosis, we discussed and prayed and discerned over how to move forward. My diagnosis offered the prospect of a 5-year 50% survival rate and a 10-year 30% survival rate, including patients whose tumors could be resected, which mine could not.
I asked, “What if I’m not here in 10 years?” and Harry responded, “but what if you are?”
We have a 13-year old son, in addition to our two older children, because of my husband’s optimism, our shared faith…and a bit of my tenacity. “Quality of life” is also essential to brain tumor patients, and being a mom, stepmom, and wife are a huge part of my quality of life.
When we were looking for a rally cry or tagline for our team, I decided to share my private prayer of many years. We named my tumor “Louie” after a diner in San Francisco where we discussed whether I should have the May 2004 surgery to biopsy the tumor and determine if it could be removed. My prayer, and now our team motto, is “Please Cure ‘Louie’ and All Brain Tumors!”
In addition to fundraising, Harry has furthered that effort by serving many years on the HFTC Board, supporting those who are trying to “Cure ‘Louie’ and All Brain Tumors!”
Thank you, Harry, for being my greatest supporter and for translating that into a tremendous impact on HFTC and the fight against brain tumors.
I love you with all my heart!