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Head for the Cure flourishes after tragic death of former KSAT news director

SAN ANTONIO – Cancer is a dirty word in all languages, but when you add the word “brain” to cancer, it becomes a death sentence.

Unlike other cancers, brain cancer almost always kills, and entire families must also endure the effects their loved one suffers from the disease.

Jim Boyle went home early on a Friday, had a seizure the next day and by Sunday, was paralyzed on one side. Boyle was unable to speak and suffered slowly in a hospital bed over the next six months until his death. It was a far cry from his life at his beloved newsroom at KSAT, where he was the news director.

“This was his baby. This is what he worked for. This was his legacy. He has many legacies but this was an important one. Aside from his family, this was first in his life,” said Erin Boyle Dempsey, Boyle’s daughter, about the mark her father left at KSAT.

Boyle Dempsey is embarrassed to be brought to tears so often, but these days, the sobs of grief have given way to a sort of joyful weeping.

“Even though I’m tearing up, I’m really happy to be here,” she said. “It’s joy.”

Boyle Dempsey took her father’s death and transformed it into a movement in just a matter of months. It’s a movement that grew out of her shock over losing her father so quickly to a disease she barely even knew about.

“With other cancers, you still have the person. They’re still there. They are undergoing treatment and they’re tired and not feeling well. They are still there. Brain cancer, for the most part, that doesn’t happen. You lose that person quickly,” she said.

In Boyle’s absence, the Head for the Cure movement flourished.

“He would want this kind of thing to happen. He just wouldn’t want to be the subject. He always had those visions in mind,” Boyle Dempsey said.

The third annual Head for the Cure 5K run/walk will take place Saturday at 8 a.m., and all its proceeds will go to fund brain cancer research.


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