The 130-member Team WILL POWER is leading the pack in size and funds raised for the upcoming American Brain Tumor Association Path to Progress 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, May 14, 2011, at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Team WILL POWER consists of the friends and family of Glenview native William “Will” Hicks. Hicks was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in January 2010, and passed away 10 months later at the age of 26. To date, Team WILL POWER has raised more than $33,000 for brain tumor research and patient-family education and support.
Will Hicks lived a short “but full” life, according to his sister Jacqui Hicks, Team WILLPOWER’s captain. “Will never lost his enthusiasm for life. He lived every day with joy, a positive attitude, gratitude and faith.”
In high school at Glenbrook South Will was an avid soccer player. In college, he traveled extensively sailing the Greek Isles, skiing in Prague, running with the bulls in Pamploma, and riding camels in Dubai.
Even after his brain tumor diagnosis, which resulted in “two craniotomies, spinal and cranial radiation and multiple rounds of the most aggressive chemotherapies,” Will travelled, golfed, played hockey, fished, and continued his job as an Information Security Analyst. “Last year, after Will’s diagnosis, our oncology team told us about ABTA and the support and reliable information they provide for families like ours,” said Jacqui. “Once we heard about the Path to Progress, Will knew it would be a great way for everyone to show their support while raising funds for desperately needed research.” In May, Will and Team WILL POWER made their first appearance at the Path to Progress.
The 2011 TEAM WILL POWER has grown from 65 to 130 members and includes Will’s wife Katie; his sisters Jacqui and Lily Hicks; his parents Richard and Claudia Hicks, and “grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a lot of close family friends” who are traveling from as far away as Toronto, New York California, and Virginia to walk or run in support of Will and the American Brain Tumor Association. The team is also running in support of a good friend Shawn Koch, who Will met in treatment last year and who continues to courageously battle the same rare mixed form of brain tumor as Will had.
They will join an anticipated 6,000 brain tumor patients, their families and supporters at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Saturday, May 14, beginning at 7 a.m. This year, more than 64,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a primary brain tumor, and an estimated 13,100 will lose their lives to the disease. More than 600,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor diagnosis. While brain tumors occur in people of all ages, they are the second leading cause of cancer-related death in children.
“While significant progress has been made in treatment and care, a brain tumor continues to be a devastating diagnosis,” said ABTA Executive Director Elizabeth Wilson. “Through events like the Path to Progress 5K Run-Walk, ABTA is ensuring continued funding for critical brain tumor research, as well as desperately needed resources and support for patients and families living with this disease."
“This year, although we are physically without Will, carrying our new Path to Progress tradition forward is even more important,” said Jacqui. “Our dream is that through increased research, future families will not have to endure the pain of losing a husband, son, brother, cousin, nephew, grandchild and friend way before their time. If Will and countless others can persevere through this atrocious disease, surely together we can find a cure. It might just take a little WILL POWER!”
ABOUT THE AMERICAN BRAIN TUMOR ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first non-profit organization dedicated to funding brain tumor research. Today, ABTA is a catalyst for research-based breakthroughs in the causes, diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors, and recognized as the leading resource in patient-centered brain tumor information, education and support. To learn more, visit www.abta.org, or contact ABTA at: 1-800-886-2282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.