“It is deeply touching to see so many survivors and families joining together, raising their arms in support of each other and the search for a cure – it is simply, a fantastic experience,” said FCB Team Captain, Steve Higgins.
This will be the third year that Steve will participate in the Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers Race for Hope. He and his team of family and friends hope to surpass their remarkable 2006 results, hosting 100 participants and raising $53,000. “Team FCB takes a great deal of pride in our accomplishments and we aim to topple last year's fundraising numbers, which were mighty indeed, to give brain tumors a good, hard punch in the face,” said Steve. “It feels great to work towards changing the outcomes for everyone diagnosed with a brain tumor.”
Steve Higgins’ first Race for Hope was in 2005, less than one year after his diagnosis with a PNET. “I was awoken one night with the feeling that someone was pounding on my skull – this left me extraordinarily weak, limping and generally freaked out.” Upon examination, Steve was sent immediately for an MRI, which showed a mass. Steve had surgery to remove the tumor two days later. “I didn’t know much about brain tumors and didn’t realize immediately that my diagnosis meant brain cancer – I remember feeling that 'cancer' seemed even scarier than a 'tumor,'" said Steve.
The night he received his initial pathology report, Steve proposed to his girlfriend, Tara. “We had been talking about it for a while and figured there really wasn’t any reason to wait,” said Tara. They were married on August 1st, two weeks after Steve began radiation. Together, they decided to attend a brain tumor support group hosted by long-term brain cancer survivor and patient advocate, Jeff Schanz. There, they met Lionel and Sandy Chaiken, co-founders of the Race for Hope. “The group had a great spirit and it sounded like a way to get out and meet other survivors through a healthy activity – we were looking forward to the Race,” Steve said.
Steve was almost done with chemo by race day 2005 and thereby felt a great sense of celebration, as well as a sense of empowerment. “Raising funds to directly help fight what I have, provided me with a sense of influence over my situation,” said Steve. “I also felt grateful for the opportunity to participate in an event where there is a strong sense of unity in the knowledge that we are all in this together. As great as it is for one team to succeed or one event to raise money – we need to get together all year long.”
Steve’s wife, Tara, comments, “We view this race as a statement of spirit and strength, and more than ever we view the fundraising as a means to find that wonder drug for someone else traveling down this bumpy road, if not for Steve.”
Steve comments on his hope for 2007, “After another year of treatment, I'm feeling good and looking forward to the combination of some warm weather and this year’s Race for Hope.”