Heartland pickleball tourney helps cancer patients

Heartland pickleball tourney helps cancer patients

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The third annual SEMO’s Chemo Smash Pickleball tournament in Cape Girardeau is helping cancer victims.

This tournament has raised thousands of dollars and brought in more than 300 people to the event this weekend.

This event started several years ago to help with the Curtis L. Brown Glioblastoma Fund after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He later died from the cancer.

Tournament Director Doug Brown said he was playing pickleball when he had a seizure and then diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer. That’s when they wanted to help do something for his brother and everyone else that has cancer as well.

“We started this for my little brother after he had his seizure,” Doug Brown said. “We want to do something to help raise money and awareness for cancer. He was diagnosed with a cancer that was incurable. So we started this thing. He was a tournament player and we knew a lot of people throughout pickleball world. You kind of meet people. It’s a social sport.”

One of the players participating is the niece to Curtis Brown. She said it’s great to play for him in his honor.

“It’s really special to play now that he’s passed away from it,” Makayla Brown said. “We’re raising money for the disease that ended up making him pass away but we’re getting to play the sport that he loves so that’s pretty cool.”

Proceeds collected will go to the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

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