Mother honors son with comedy fundraiser for brain cancer research
May 12, 2016 | by Denise Heady
For most people, May signals the imminent arrival of lazy beach days, bustling backyard barbecues and the late-breaking sunsets of summer nights blooming with possibility. But for Diane Peacock, the month has a much more solemn meaning.
Diane uses May, which the American Cancer Society designates as Brain Tumor Awareness Month, as a time to recognize, remember and spread awareness about brain cancer — the deadly disease that took her son’s life when he was just four days shy of his 19th birthday.
“Not an instant of my day goes by without me remembering brain cancer and what it has done to my family, my world, my outlook on life and my future,” Diane said on her TJ’s Dream Team blog.
Her son TJ, a dedicated athlete, was diagnosed with an advanced brain tumor when he was just a freshman in high school. Over the course of five years, he had numerous treatments, including four surgeries, before succumbing to the cancer. From that moment, Diane decided she would make it her mission to prevent another family from suffering the way her family had.
I promised my son and myself that I would spend the rest of my life making him proud and carrying on his battle.” Diane Peacock
So Diane created TJ's Dream Team Foundation, which was established to continue TJ’s fight, carry on his memory and raise money for brain cancer research.
Every year she holds an annual fundraising event at the world famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles and donates 100 percent of the proceeds to cancer research. This year, comics Drew Lynch, Dean Delray, Jade Catta-Preta, Nicholas Rutherford and Corey Roberts will take the stage Sunday, May 15, to help with Diane’s mission.
The event’s proceeds will support the work of Behnam Badie, M.D., chief of neurosurgery and director of City of Hope’s Brain Tumor Program. Badie has been fighting brain cancer for 20 years and is working to transform brain tumor treatment through research collaborations using nanoparticles, engineered CAR-T cells, engineered stem cells and other novel therapies.
“City of Hope has very promising clinical trials for treating brain tumors,” said Diane. “I want to help take these clinical trials to the next phase and help more patients get better treatments faster.”
Since its inception, TJ’s Dream Team Foundation has raised and donated nearly $30,000 to brain cancer research. Now that’s a development blooming with possibility.
To purchase tickets and learn more about the event, visit the TJ’s Dream Team Comedy Night page on Diane’s website.
If you are looking for a second opinion or consultation about your treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.