Cancer survivors and supporters surrounded Hunter Weaver at midfield during Saturday night’s annual Frogs for the Cure half time show.
Weaver’s entrance into TCU marked the eighth year since his tumor was removed making him officially cancer-free.
Weaver, a first-year pre-business major, said he was diagnosed with cancer in 6th grade. He said the shock of the diagnosis at a young age credited to the diagnosis never truly “sinking in."
“The initial shock of hearing the word cancer kind of took me off guard,” Weaver said. “At that age, I think anyone thinks they’re still invincible like nothing can really touch you or hurt you.”
Weaver said he emailed TCU alumnus Tim Halperin before the semester began to thank him for his involvement with breast cancer awareness. Halperin, singer and writer of “Cross That Line,” connected Weaver to Frogs for the Cure chair Ann Louden.
Weaver said Louden asked him to star in this year’s Frogs for the Cure music video a few days after they were connected.
The video was unveiled during the eighth annual Frogs for the Cure game at half time. The event initially began in 2005 as the first football game dedicated to breast cancer awareness and benefitted Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Halperin said the feeling at midfield with survivors and supporters cheering and being acknowledged is what makes the entire process worth it.
“It was great to see a community come together like that and also to see that survivors were coming out and getting involved,” Weaver said.
Weaver said because he grew up in a small town, he was never involved in large survival events. Now, he advises people affected by cancer to let others help and support them.
In high school, Weaver helped create CancerConnect.com to give those affected by cancer a place to find support and information. He said the set up is similar to Facebook’s where people make a profile and connect with others throughout the nation.
“It really helps because it gives you someone to talk to who’s at the same place as you,” Weaver said. “As a cancer patient, it’s hard for anyone to really know where you’re coming from unless they’ve been there before.”
Halperin said he enjoyed getting to know Weaver over the semester and said he was the perfect person to base the music video around.
This year’s Frogs for the Cure video shows Weaver running through campus as others, finally amounting to about 400 people, are running and cheering behind him. It symbolizes that the race for the cure may seem solitary at times, but behind each patient is a large support system, Weaver said.
“The race never really ends because there are so many other people out there going through exactly what you went through that it’s never going to actually leave your life,” Weaver said.