On April 23, 2016, hundreds gathered at the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center in Columbus for the inaugural Step Up for Stefanie’s Champions Walk/Run. The event offered 4-mile run and 1-mile walk options, a post-race celebration and appearances by Chris Spielman, Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, and other Spielman Fund supporters.
Step Up for Stefanie’s Champions benefits the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and honors Champions in the lives of cancer survivors.
Stefanie Spielman established the Champion Award to recognize one of the most critical factors in surviving cancer: loving, unwavering support. In Stefanie’s case, such support during her battle with breast cancer came from her husband, Chris. To show her gratitude, Stefanie gave Chris the very first Champion Award in 2000.
Meet Our 2016 Champions!
Champion Tori Crooks
Nominated by her father, Kerry Crooks
When Kerry’s cancer treatment relocated him and his family from Philadelphia to San Antonio, Tori remained resilient in the face of change. A high school student at the time, Tori balanced her studies, junior ROTC, orchestra and the stress of applying for college — all while being in a new city, assisting with her father’s care and managing many of the household responsibilities. Six years later, Kerry is cancer-free, Tori is excelling in her college studies, and her passion for helping others remains strong.
Champion Nathan Hunt
Nominated by his wife, Ashlee Hunt
One month after her engagement to Nathan and the day after her 24th birthday, Ashlee received her breast cancer diagnosis. In an instant, their lives went from planning a wedding to battling cancer. Wanting to fight cancer as husband and wife, the two were married at the courthouse a few months later, and Nathan became the ultimate support system for his new bride.
When they were ready to expand their family, Ashlee, now 28, found another lump on her breast and faced another difficult journey. To keep Ashlee’s spirits up, Nathan supported her physically, emotionally and spiritually. He started pre-chemo dance parties for just the two of them every week during her treatment. “Nathan would do anything to put a smile on my face, so we turned up the music and danced,” Ashlee says.
Champion Brett Jump
Nominated by her friend, Heather Appel
“Divine intervention” connected Heather to her champion, Brett. When Heather was diagnosed with breast cancer, her colleague introduced her to Brett, who also is a cancer survivor. When they first spoke on the phone, Heather described the experience as “talking to an old friend.” Brett has since started a support group for Heather and other breast cancer survivors called “Pink Degrees of Separation”— primarily an online group that meets and converses via Facebook. Brett also has hosted many events in her home for strangers-turned-friends like Heather.
Champion Matthew Schaeg
Nominated by his sister, Brandi Hann
When his sister Brandi and their mother and father were simultaneously battling cancer, Matthew quickly became the support system for his entire family. Traveling from his home in Ashland, Ohio (one hour north of Columbus), Matthew became the sole caregiver for his family, balancing the chores from grocery shopping and cleaning to administering medications to providing transportation for medical appointments.
You can nominate your Champion today at SpielmanFund.com.