Cancer Survivor Takes Tractor on Road Across Iowa

For second year in a row Bob Husz is raising support for cancer research and awareness while plowing ahead for the cure.

Cancer survivor Bob Husz will once again trek across Iowa as part of the second annual Tractor Ride Against Cancer June 11-15.

The 250-mile journey along Highway 34 across southern Iowa is a grassroots effort to raise funds and support for hematological malignancy (blood-related) cancer and solid tumor cancer research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. After a ceremonial send off from the UNMC campus, Husz will leave Glenwood, Iowa on June 11 at noon and end his journey in Burlington, Iowa at the Mississippi River on June 15.

"It's an honor to take this campaign across Iowa for the second year in a row," says Husz. "I hope we are able to reach out and make a difference for this disease that affects so many lives every day."

Trek on tractor is second for this survivor

In 2004, Husz, 53, was diagnosed with nonHodgkin's lymphoma, a malignant growth of cells in the lymph system. Husz started chemotherapy treatment immediately at UNMC.

Through his first month of chemotherapy, Husz's wife, Jane, found her husband emotionally down and suggested that he get involved in a task that would allow him to keep a positive goal in mind during his treatment. Husz bought a 1952 vintage Ford 8N tractor as a "fix-up" project. The old tractor, which is now in parade condition, became a symbol of Husz's journey to becoming cancer-free.

The American Cancer Society reports that 559,650 men and women are estimated to die of cancer this year. It is reported that there will be approximately 63,190 new cases of nonHodgkin's lymphoma this year.

"My life was permanently changed by cancer, but I am thankful that I can look back at my diagnosis to help me now enjoy each day," says Husz. "I look forward to a long life ahead. Unfortunately, not everyone diagnosed with cancer has a similar story, and that is why a cure needs to be found."

You can join him on the tractor caravan

Husz wants to encourage others who have tractors, and who have battled cancer or knows someone who has suffered from the disease, to join him on a town-to-town tractor caravan along Highway 34 as he plows across Iowa for a cure. The trip will be divided into stops where drivers can join him in support. Stops include: Glenwood, Red Oak, Creston, Osceola, Chariton, Albia, Ottumwa, Fairfield, Mount Pleasant and Burlington.

Husz will be meeting people along the way and handing out donation cards for those who wish to give to the T.R.A.C. fund for cancer research, which has been established at the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Last year, Husz traveled across Iowa on his tractor along State Highway 92 from Lake Manawa to Grandview, raising nearly $9,000 for cancer research.

For more information on T.R.A.C., or to make an online donation, log on to www.TractorRideAgainstCancer.com.  

The University of Nebraska Medical Center is the region's most established National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, receiving its NCI designation in 1983. UNMC is internationally respected as one of the most prolific research and treatment centers for leukemia, lymphoma and other types of cancers such as breast, prostate, pancreatic and gastrointestinal. The UNMC Eppley Cancer Center is one of 13 founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the world's leading cancer centers that develop standards for treating patients. In 2005, UNMC's hospital partner, The Nebraska Medical Center, was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 40 cancer treatment centers in the United States. More than 13% of patients treated for cancer are residents of the state of Iowa.

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