Team Shellady Strong


This Sunday Chicagoans, and a group of Glenbard West students, took off on a 5k run amid freezing temperatures in support of Head For The Cure Foundation.  

HFTC is a charity organization that fundraises for brain cancer research through 5k walk/runs across America. Runners can sign up individually, or as one group of GBW seniors chose to do this year, run as a team. The team, known as Shellady Strong, ran for their best friends’ dad, who is currently battling brain cancer. Leading up to the race the team set up an online fundraising page, setting their goal to $500. Though signing up only one week in advance, one team member, Lilly Stutelberg, said that her team was able to “raise way more money than they thought, pulling in over $3,000 by posting all over social media.”

The HFTC organization was grateful for this contribution and was able to reach their goal of $65,000 by the beginning of the race. But the race was not just about money. It was a time for friends, family, and even physicians to come together in support of their loved ones.

Alex Frazer, Shellady Strong team member, pointed out that what made the experience so special was that “it wasn’t competitive as a lot of 5k runs are, everyone was there for the purpose of supporting each other.”

While there were clearly participants who took the opportunity to sprint the course, team Shellady Strong jogged the course together, the feeling of accomplishment contagious among the group. Another team member, Samantha Bower, said that “being able to do [the race] with the Shelladys and seeing how special it was to them” made the three mile course go quickly. The rest of the team agreed, and could not have been more happy to show their love for the family by participating in the race.

The feeling of camaraderie was abundant Sunday morning, spreading as each runner stood united in their effort to defeat brain cancer. Following the race, Matt Anthony, founder of HFTC, gave a heart-warming speech about the organization and why the fight against brain cancer is so important. Anthony explained that his brother, Chris Anthony had the idea of starting a run to raise money and awareness, combining his love of running and unfortunate diagnosis of brain cancer. While tragically Chris lost his battle, that did not stop Matt from taking on the fight to honor their beloved brother. Fifteen years later, HFTC has raised over $1.9 million dollars and hosted 124 races.

Team Shellady Strong, made up a few close friends, is one small part of the fight against brain cancer. Crossing the finish line, it was clear that each teammate was filled with genuine happiness to be supporting their friends’ family and part of the movement to “defeat brain cancer step by step.”