Our 7th annual Head for the Cure 5K – Central Texas is almost a month away! We could not be more thrilled to see the city of Austin and the Central Texas area rally together to raise funds, awareness, and hope for the Central Texas brain tumor community. One of the teams supporting again this year is Team #KickingCancerOutOfTowne in honor of Laura Towne.
When asked Laura what Head for the Cure means to her, she told her story and how living with a brain tumor and Head for the Cure has impacted her life in many ways.
“Head for the Cure means so much to me and for so many reasons. For the past 15 years, I watched my now 19-year-old nephew fight to beat brain cancer. Joshua was diagnosed with Ependymoma at age 4 and has since had 8 brain surgeries to remove his tumors, along with many rounds of chemo and radiation. When chemo and radiation weren’t an option he tried other clinical trials, anything he could do to keep him fighting. He is my superman. We need a cure for this so Joshua doesn’t have to fight anymore. I always wanted to be by Joshua’s side when I could, but in September of 2015, after multiple grand mal seizures, I too was diagnosed with brain cancer, while working as a traveling nurse in San Diego, CA.
Brain cancer is such devastating news to receive, but knowing how hard Joshua fought, I planned to do the same thing. I was first diagnosed with a grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma that 2 months later was looked at by other pathologists and upgraded to a grade 4 Glioblastoma. With surgery, chemo, and radiation I fought and survived after moving back to Austin, TX. In 2016, with old friends, I participated in Head for the Cure to be apart of an organization that puts everything into fighting to find a cure brain cancer. I had just started care with Dr. Groves of Texas Oncology and wanted to somehow be a part of the brain cancer/tumor community.
In 2017 I signed up for Head for the Cure for a second time to continue being a part of this community. Last year, 2018, I again signed up, built a huge team, and tried to raise money for our team to donate. It was a hard year. I had been doing so well and my seizures came back, which ultimately meant my cancer returned. Throughout everything, I have had the biggest support team and that showed during the 2018 Head for the Cure event. Following the event, I again went through surgery, chemo, and radiation and remain a fighter.
Not only is Head for the Cure a place to raise money for more research, but it brings cancer survivors, family, and friends of those who lost their battles, and family and friends of people like me to come and support such an important cause. Head for the Cure is a way I can help describe how important finding a cure for brain cancer is. I’ve met other survivors and other family members who still fight for loved ones. As a brain cancer patient, I want to keep fighting and another year participating in Central Texas’ Head for the Cure means so much to me. I am so blessed to be alive and fighting and I only hope that this will remain a part of my life every year.
To all of those who remain fighting, we can do this! We have to believe it! My motto is “Think Positive.” To families and friends, we as cancer patients, could NEVER do this without y’all. It is the people around me, fighting beside me, that help with my positivity and strength. Even though this is so hard, the people who stay by your side during this battle, will never understand how much they mean and how much they do for us. Head for Cure has brought so many of my friends and family to get involved, even if it’s a small way, with the brain tumor community. This year, 2019, I plan to keep my team #kickingcanceroutoftowne growing, both by size and donations, so we can continue to help fund more research to one day find a cure for brain cancer.”
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