Heather Marie Roberts 9/13/1979 – 11/8/2016
Leap-for-a-Cure is a grass-roots effort to benefit the Omaha community with Brain Cancer awareness, education, and treatment. Our family was placed in an unenviable situation when our daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2008. Shortly after her diagnosis and surgeries, we created Leap-for-a-Cure and have never looked back. Our efforts have raised over $700,000 since July 2008, and we continue to gain momentum. Every donation remains in Omaha, benefiting the community.
Few people ever think the unexpected will actually happen to them, and we were no different. However, in April of 2008, the unexpected became our reality. Our daughter, Heather, was diagnosed with brain cancer, currently Stage 3: Anaplastic Astrocytoma. On April 24, 2008, she had her first of two surgeries to retract her tumor; her second surgery was June 12, 2008. Even though both surgeries were considered successful, the entire tumor could not be retracted. She completed 6 weeks of radiation with low dose Temador and then completed 11 months of high dose Temador (chemo). After 11 months, her body said, “No more!” Her tumor remained “stable” until March 2014. After additional specialized radiation and another year of chemo, she is currently “stable” once again. It all sounds so easy, but it is not. Seizures, swelling, Avastin (which had to be stopped because of side-effects) followed her re-diagnosis. Heather is a fighter, and Leap-For-A-Cure fights with her!
As a mother, I feel I need to do something other than cry and ask “Why Heather?” Of course we pray for Heather’s tumor to remain stable, but we also pray for medical advancements so that medical teams have the necessary knowledge to perform miracles. Research provides those advancements! When my father died at the age of 42 from brain cancer, the medical field did not have MRIs, CT-scans, chemotherapy, or other important diagnosis or treatment options available. Now, 54 years later, I pray that our daughter will live instead of die because of the advancements. Sometimes I think she is destined to be the living proof of medical advancements.
Leap-for-a-Cure was organized to help benefit awareness so that early detection and treatment plans can add years to lives and treat the disease. Too often, people live their lives thinking that “it” always happens to “other” people. Our family is proof that the “other” person can easily become anyone.
All funds collected for Leap-for-a-Cure are donated to improve awareness, education, and treatment of brain cancer in the Omaha community and especially at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. All donations are tax deductible. We want this disease to give hope, not death, to its many victims.
Each donation may be one small step for brain cancer awareness, but many donations become one giant LEAP-FOR-A-CURE!
Founded in July 2008 by the family of Heather Roberts, Leap-for-a-Cure is associated with the Nebraska Methodist Hospital Foundation, which serves as Leap-For-A-Cure’s fiscal sponsor.