Remembering Senator John McCain. Senator Ted Kennedy, and Dustin Eskie

August 24, 2019

A note from Head For The Cure Founder and Board President, Matt Anthony.

Each and every Head for the Cure 5K event is a special day of celebration, inspiration and remembrance for the lives and legacies of people facing brain tumor disease and brain cancer. 

Our signature Head for the Cure 5K event in Kansas City, on Sunday, August 25th, marks an extra special memory this year.  

One year ago, we were all saddened, yet equally inspired, by the passing of Senator John McCain, following his yearlong journey with glioblastoma brain cancer. We also remember John McCain’s close friend and colleague in the Senate, and a warrior to American ideals, Senator Ted Kennedy. Remarkably, Senator Kennedy succumbed to the same malignant brain tumor 10 years ago, on exactly the same day, August 25th, 2009.

Today, we also remember Dustin Eskie who lost his battle to glioblastoma on August 25, 2013, in the mid-morning of his life, at age 21. In Dustin’s memory, and behalf of brain tumor patients in the Kansas City area, The Eski family is working alongside Head for the Cure in funding brain tumor clinical research programs at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.   

Senators McCain and Kennedy lived under the most inexplicable and difficult circumstances in their long and momentous lives.  Senator McCain, a war hero who suffered brutal torture as a prisoner of war while serving his country as a US Navy aviator in Vietnam. Senator Kennedy, the unimaginable loss of his three older brothers, first brother Joseph to war; followed years later by the assassinations of his brothers, John F Kennedy and Robert F Kennedy.  

Both emerged without bitterness, but conviction that we could make a better world through public service.  Combined, they spent nearly seven decades proving that truth, often crossing party lines or making political enemies to stand behind what they thought was right. And though rivals, they worked together more than they worked apart, forming bonds of respect and friendship, and setting an example for others in government. 

We know many of you have experienced loss, and certainly great strife because of a personal battle with brain cancer. We continue to be in awe by the thousands of stories we hear each and every day of how people have lived their life in incredible ways, just by facing each day with a smile, determination to fight and refusing to let this diagnosis change who they are as a person. 

While brain cancer can often be isolating, you are not alone. Today and every day, we keep in our hearts, the memories of John McCain, Ted Kennedy, Dustin Eskie, and all those lost to brain cancer. 

Mostly, we all remember them for how they lived.  

With warm hearts,

Matt Anthony

President, Head for the Cure Foundation