Faces of Kansas City: Run to raise awareness for brain cancer co - KCTV5

Faces of Kansas City: Run to raise awareness for brain cancer continues to grow

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

In 2003 Kansas City lost a good man to brain cancer. But, before he passed away, he made one request.

Finding time to talk to Matt Anthony isn't easy. As the North American CEO of advertising agency Young and Rubicam, he's often in New York. But Anthony's heart will always be in Kansas City because he is also the president and founder of Head for the Cure, an annual race that benefits brain cancer research and awareness.

"Yes, we raise money, yes, we raise awareness, but mostly we inspire hope for the people who are fighting this disease. And we do so in Chris' honor," Anthony said.

The Chris he speaks of is Chris Anthony, Matt's brother. Diagnosed with glioblastoma brain cancer in the fall of 2000, the father, brother, son, friend and co-worker fought bravely until February of 2003.

Before he died, though, Chris Anthony had an idea.

"He said we should start a run, and a run is an active voice to do something positive. Chris was extraordinary in that he was a 'walk the walk' guy," Matt Anthony said.

It began with a small staff manning the Kansas City headquarters and the run/walk that started with 300 people has now turned into 5,000 in its 12th year in Kansas City alone. Under Matt Anthony's guidance, Head for the Cure runs have spread to 14 other cities.

"He would be awed by it, but he would not be surprised," Matt Anthony said of his brother. "This is the one focused on brain cancer, and to the people affected, I really believe it's the most important day of the year for them."

Matt Anthony knows he's not alone, as someone who's lost a loved one to cancer, In any given year more than 23,000 Americans will be diagnosed with brain cancer so, on Aug. 24, everyone is invited to lace up their gym shoes, bring the family and join the fight against the sometimes overlooked, but equally important cancer.

"When people experience something that is purposeful, and also celebratory, they want to participate in it. And they want to do it over and over again and I think that's what we've reacted with, Head for the Cure," Matt Anthony said.

Kansas City's Head for the Cure walk/run is happening on Aug. 24 at Corporate Woods in Overland Park. Click here for more information.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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