“It brought everyone together and helped us get through the surgery,” shares Tama. “It gave Kenny a passion — something other than his own tumor to focus on.”
But Tama did not stop there. She became a volunteer advocate for the National Brain Tumor Society, attending the 2014 Head to the Hill event with her daughter Emily, Kenny’s first cousin.
“Kenny planned on being there but couldn’t,” says Tama. He was very ill, and passed away the following month, in June 2014.
Head to the Hill gave us such a feeling to be able to speak up and speak on his behalf. At the event, you feel like you are part of a bigger family, with everyone coming together fighting for one thing. It was amazing and empowering.
Creativity and Family
It’s easy enough to ask friends and family for money, but how do you reach beyond those touched by someone with a brain tumor to give to your cause? Since deciding to form a Walk team in the Summer of 2013, the extended Cobb family (including Pendleton and Eadie families) has hosted numerous community events. They have hosted a summer beach party cookout in Clinton, CT, charging $20 a head; a Farm Day in Broadbrook, CT with hayrides, activities for the family and a craft sale; and an 18 Kisses for Ken fundraiser.
Regarding the 18 Kisses for Ken fundraiser, Tama thought, “with a name like 18 Kisses, why can’t we kiss someone?” She created home-made signs and large, bright orange lips. Supporters make a donation to place nine lips (or kisses) per lawn, two lawns at a time, for $20 a lawn, equaling 18 kisses. In order to rid the lawn of the kisses, the person who has been “kissed” must make a donation to Tama’s 18 Kisses for Ken Boston Brain Tumor Walk team directly, and select someone else to be “kissed” with the $20 donation.
Tama’s daughter Emily also hosts community fundraising events in New Hampshire, where she lives. A local restaurant has held several 50/50 raffles, and the owner has donated proceeds from the night to the National Brain Tumor Society. Emily has also held a clothing swap for $10 per person, and this year donated her birthday to the National Brain Tumor Society, raising $500.
This year, Tama has put together a race team at the Race for Hope – DC event, as well. Since the Race takes place the day before National Brain Tumor Society’s annual advocacy day on Capitol Hill, she appropriately named her team Head to the Hill, and extends an invitation to anyone who would also like to walk/race in DC May 3.
As Tama says, “We like to have fun. We like to raise money. We like family things.”
And together Tama and her family have raised more than $40,000 in just two years fundraising on behalf of the National Brain Tumor Society!