Pickleball tournament helps cancer victims

Pickleball tournament helps cancer victims
A woman serves in a pickleball match at the SportsPlex in Cape Girardeau. (Source: Photo source; Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Nearly 300 people came out to the SEMO’s Chemo Smash Pickleball tournament to raise funds for cancer victims.

This event started last year to help with the Curtis L. Brown Glioblastoma Fund after he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

"He was playing pickleball in Jackson at the civic center and had a seizure. That was when we first found out what was going on," Doug Brown said. "Curtis and I were traveling around the country and playing pickleball together and met a lot of great people through pickleball and they wanted to help."

Doug Brown said this year, his brother Curtis wanted to help those with all cancers. So they decided that proceeds will go to the Sitemen Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Cancer touches a lot of people's lives," Doug Brown said. "That's what we're trying to do is help support those people."

Doug said he is proud of his brother to want to help others, even though he is still going through his own battle.

"Sometimes he has good days remembering and sometimes he can't quite grab something off the tip of his tongue," Doug Brown said. "He's in a battle. He's been battling it for three years. Most people with his diagnosis don't make it past a year and a half. The average is probably a year and a half so we're lucky to still have him."

There were roughly two dozen pickleball courts and vendors collecting donations for the event.

Of those pickleball participants, one player came from Arizona to show her support.

Pickleball professional Lindsey Newman said her niece has cancer so helping this cause was important for her.

"I think everyone has been impacted some way or another," Newman said. "If we can raise a little bit of money to hopefully find a cure, then we'll hopefully have less people go through it down the road and that's awesome."

The event brought in more than $35,000 last year. They hope to match that this year as well.

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