Sunday, October 30, 2011

International TUMORS SUCK! Day 2011

Counting all different ideas drifting away
Past and present they don’t matter
Now the future’s sorted out
Watch her moving in elliptical patterns
Think it’s not what you say
What you say is way too complicated
For a minute thought I couldn’t tell how to fall out

Phoenix, 1901, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 2009

I tried to do my part in celebrating and spreading awareness about International TUMORS SUCK! Day on October 25th by passing out stickers to friends and faculty at my high school. Last year most of the teachers declined the opportunity to wear a sticker and support the mAss kickers of the world, probably because they disliked the use of the word “suck.” But, this year I think that the teachers recognized the fighting message within the campaign, and they came up to me and other students asking where they could get stickers! It was nice to see such a wave of support from my school – people had fun taking pictures with the stickers and some have kept the stickers on their blazers, covering my high school's official seal haha. Most high school students don’t have to stop and spend time to think about how tumors/cancer affects their lives or others; I choose to, and am lucky to be surrounded with such supportive friends and family members who agree that TUMORS SUCK! I have a pretty cool plan for a photo next year, but it’ll take about 40 people to pull off what I have in mind..stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What is Hawktober? By Matt Cotcher

Hawktober is a brand new organization that shows some attitude while raising brain tumor awareness: Hawktober was officially formed in 2011 and features supporters wearing Mohawks every October to bring more attention to brain tumors, those diagnosed with them, and survivors.

I like to say that supporters ‘Rock da’ Hawk’, because it conveys the spirit necessary to combat such an intimidating diagnosis. Patients, survivors, family and friends are showing off Hawks in support of the movement. In our first week, Hawktober has rallied support from coast to coast and even in Australia!

Hawktober was founded by a pair of guys that have taken survivorship to a whole new level – one they like to call ‘thrivership’. Certainly we understand the importance of raising awareness; after all, my diagnosis came as a complete surprise. It required such quick action that learning about the tumor, surgery or recovery wasn’t a viable option.

One of Hawktober’s goals is to give people what is often lacking in the drama of a life-altering diagnosis – more information and a better understanding of treatment options. With all the technology and information available, Hawktober will help folks that find themselves in similar situations be better prepared.


One of our co-founders, Eric Galvez, has been passionate about raising brain tumor awareness since his diagnosis in 2005. In an ironic twist, Eric went from being a physical therapist to having his coworkers provide him with therapy after undergoing surgery and radiation.

After rehab, Galvez started the Tumors Suck campaign and subsequently mAss Kickers Foundation. Then one of his friends, Al Chan, suggested the idea of rockin’ hawks to promote brain tumor awareness. I met Galvez online in 2007 while researching survivorship. Then, earlier this year, Galvez shared the Hawktober backstory with me and encouraged me to run with the idea. And just like that, Hawktober is rockin’ da Hawk around the globe!


At the time of this writing, "Hawktober 8th", we’re only one week into this year’s effort. Between a rapidly growing Facebook page and an interactive website, it’s been a fun week of collecting photos of supporters Rockin’ da Hawk!

The organization is based in Austin, TX where Floyd’s 99 barbershops is supporting the effort. Each week in Hawktober, Floyd’s is featuring “Mohawk Monday” where supporters receive free Mohawks.

Beyond Austin, there are already supporters from Massachusetts to California clipping, shaving and styling their way to support family, friends and themselves in the spirit of Hawktober.


While I’m encouraged and overwhelmed by the amount of support Hawktober has received, I recognize we’re just getting started! Certainly, mohawks are attention-grabbers and we plan to use that to our advantage as we work to promote our goals and awareness.

Beyond fun pictures of supporters that Rock da’ Hawk, I’m always open to exploring partnerships with other related organizations. Awareness, whether it’s of brain tumors or breast cancer, is a responsibility that we all share, and Hawktober is always happy to help in the job.

In addition to promoting awareness and our patient support efforts, once we attain our 501(c)(3) status, we will target partners that research causes of brain tumors. I firmly believe that we need to direct our efforts towards finding causes in order to help find cures. With the variability (tumor type and location) of brain tumors, every ounce of support is needed and appreciated!

Matt Cotcher

Co-Founder, Hawktober

Thriving since 2007

Are you Ready to be a mAss Kicker?

We think ALL Tumors Suck! We believe a stronger community needs to be formed to more efficiently fight these diseases. JOIN THE MASS KICKERS ARMY! Content here will be provided by real people who have been affected by tumors/cancer. Any one can be a "mAss Kicker". When facing a new intimidating diagnosis it is easy to loose confidence. We've found that the "Right ATTITUDE" will help get you through a difficult time! Are you ready to be a "mAss Kicker?"