This Wednesday, September 14th at 6:30 PM, Head For The Cure is returning to Riverside Park in NYC for its second year in a row. Of 300 people listed to attend, 200 are from 3CC. Alongside VML, Y&R Group and WPP, Y&R is honored to support the cause and expand Head for the Cure through sponsorship, support and encouragement.

In addition to a 20-year career at VML and Y&R, Matt Anthony is also the founder and chairman of Head for the Cure, whose mission is to raise awareness and funding for brain cancer research. Matt founded the organization in honor of his brother Chris, general manager at VML Dallas, who lost his courageous battle with brain cancer in 2003.

At 34 years old, Chris was diagnosed with advanced Stage 4 brain tumor. Given a year to live, Chris battled the disease and lived two years after his diagnosis. It was Chris who initially suggested to start a run. As an athlete himself, he wanted to raise awareness and money for the disease, which was highly underfunded and under researched, despite affecting more than 700,000 people of all ages in the U.S. alone.

Chris’s ask was simple: to help me, help others.

The first fundraising event was funded by VML and took place in Kansas City in 2003. With 300 people in attendance, they were able to raise $20,000 for brain cancer research. Today, the foundation has raised over $7 million.

At first, Matt didn’t foresee Head for the Cure becoming a national organization. He wanted the event to be a celebration for people to recognize the positivity that someone can leave behind, and a vessel of hope and inspiration for others with the disease. His idea was, “Let’s make it a smile. Let’s make it a party. Let’s do something really fun and really positive for a serious need.” The mission was embraced and supported passionately by communities across the country and has since expanded to more than 20 events. 

When asked about the challenges he faced in organizing Head For The Cure, Matt says, “No challenge is relative to challenging our purpose or our approach to supporting the brain cancer community. It’s been 13 years after we had the first event and the need is magnified as ever. We’re curing the disease step by step. Treatments have advanced, people are living longer. It’s a long way from a cure, but peoples lives are enhanced.” 

For Matt, it’s important to keep in mind that empathy and truth, spread in a positive way, are the enablers of what makes Head For The Cure special. His philosophy is, “Spread more love. Love brings purpose and purpose brings positivity.”