OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A great sense of humor runs in the Erwood family.
“They were great fathers,” Brent Erwood said.
The 63-year-old shares many great familial traits with his brothers. Then there’s a commonality the Leawood man can’t believe he shares with his brothers.
All three of the Erwood siblings have had brain tumors.
Brent’s older brother, Scott, died in 2013 because of cancerous tumors. A brain tumor killed his younger brother, Gregg, in 2021. After Gregg’s diagnosis, Brent had an MRI which revealed a tumor on his brain.
Surgeons were able to remove the entire tumor thanks to early detection.
“I think it’s hard to lose two brothers to anything, but losing two brothers to the same thing was devastating,” Erwood said.
There’s no concrete evidence showing whether brain tumors are hereditary. So Erwood is sharing his family’s story with researchers at Stanford University who want to answer that question.
Erwood will also walk in Sunday’s Head for the Cure 5K to raise money for brain tumor research.
There currently is no cure for the tumors. Even though doctors removed Erwood’s tumor, it will most likely return at some point.
Since it began in Kansas City in 2003, Head for the Cure has expanded to about 15 states and raised more than $17 million. That money funds local programs at the University of Kansas Health System’s Cancer Center, Children’s Brain Tumor Project and Solace House. Funds also go toward clinical trials on the national level.
“I want to do it to honor my brothers,” Erwood said. “Anything I can do to advance research or the cause, I’m going to do it.”
Erwood hopes the steps he and other racers take Sunday will lead to a day where families won’t have to endure the loss he has.
Head for the Cure takes place at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, at Corporate Woods in Overland Park, Kansas. It costs $40 to register for the 5K run or walk. Information about the event is available on the organization’s website.