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John Hoffman has been on the journey we call brain cancer for 29 years after his wife, Judy, was diagnosed with an unusual brain tumor and was told she only had two weeks to live. He has lived these years filled with hope, being an encourager and support to others on the journey as well as an unselfish caregiver to his wife. If you see these two together, they are never without a smile and a willingness to give you a hug. In 1998, 8 years after Judy’s diagnosis, they started the Grey Matters North Texas Support Group. Until recently, John ran the meetings, allowing those who attended to feel loved, encouraged and filled with hope. The first time I met John, I was invited to speak to Grey Matters as a Head for the Cure volunteer, and immediately noticed how this community of survivors and caregivers are more than just a group, they are family. They celebrate stable scans, brainaversaries, anniversaries, birthdays, and recent diagnoses. They mourn and remember those who lost battles and help caregivers grieve. They celebrate holidays with laughter and fun. They enjoy picnics, attending brain cancer 5K’s and baseball games together. The tone of Grey Matters was established by John, who is defined by the Legacy of Love award criteria: actions of integrity, encouragement, determination, and serving others, especially those in need. This deserving person must be a leader each day and also have the courage to smile in the midst of adversity, and smile he does! John has been nominated for the Stevie Patrick Legacy of Love award because his life has been measured by not only serving his wife but serving others in the brain cancer community. Those of you who know John, know that he gives the best hugs, shares encouraging words with you, and has a favorite saying, “You have a choice of fighting or of acquiescing. My recommendation is to fight.” Thank you, John, for your support of Head for the Cure and for your example of loving others well. I, along with many others, have been blessed by your kindness through the Grey Matters Support Group. A group of survivors and caregivers whom I call family. I am so happy to nominate John Hoffman, because not only is he well deserving of this award, but today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, John, and congratulations on receiving this award! You certainly deserve it! With much love, Shari
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