BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA) — The road you have to take when a loved one gets cancer is full of unknowns, and support can make all the difference.
A local non-profit is advocating and supporting world-class cancer care.
Life can change in a blink of an eye, in some of the most unexpected ways.
In 2012, Tim Mansfield Little’s battle with cancer began.
His wife, Elizabeth Little, by his side during all of his treatments at Highlands Oncology.
“He battled for four years, worked up to two weeks before he passed away,” Little said. “He loved life, he loved his kids, he loved Nascar, obviously, that’s why we call him the inTIMidator.”
A bell that cancer patients get to ring when cured, left untouched. But his memory lives on, through a team in his name for the Cancer Challenge.
“Four years is a long time and chemo is very expensive. All the testing and everything, nobody can afford this. I don’t care what kind of insurance you have,” Little said.
The three-day event consists of everything from a golf and tennis tournament, to a 5k and 10k race. All of the money raised stays in Northwest Arkansas to fund services like state-of-the-art treatment, early detection screenings, and bereavement services.
“This being our 26th year, we’ve raised $12.8 million in those 25 years that we’ve participated,” says Kerry Keilman, Event Coordinator with the Cancer Challenge. “It really is very vital for them. Most of this that we raise is for either those that have little insurance, or have inadequate insurance. In today’s economy whether you have two people working, or one person working in a family — cancer devastates people financially as well as health-wise.”
Two of the grantees include Highlands Oncology and Circle of Life Hospice, bringing it full circle for the little family that appreciated those services during a journey they never thought they would go on.
“We had all those ventures helping us through this whole time. He loved it, as far as the people and the doctors and nurses at Highlands, he would make them laugh,” Little said.
But there’s one thing Elizabeth Little knows for sure.
Each step her team takes in the Cancer Challenge can help another cancer patient beat the disease, and ring the bell.
“I think it’s important for us to support our community. There’s a lot of people out there that need help,” Little said.
You can read Elizabeth Little’s full story about her family’s journey HERE.
Registration is now open for the 2019 Cancer Challenge.
June 20 – 22 Cancer Challenge 2019 – 2 days golf, tennis, trap shoot
June 21 – Cancer Challenge Social/Auction
June 22 – Cancer Challenge 5K Run/10K Run/1 mile Walk
Please visit cancerchallenge.com to volunteer, learn about upcoming events and to make donations.
Cancer Challenge Race Details:
Presenting Sponsor: Premier Dermatology
5K & 10 K Run
Saturday, June 22
Cooper Elementary, Bella Vista, AR
Each participant receives:
* Chip Timing
* Tshirt, Hat/Visor, Participant Bag
Ages 3 – 17 $20
Two and Under Free
Day of Race Registration $35