A $17,000 donation was recently raised in honor of Nick Strub, an ISU alumnus who died of Ewing's Sarcoma in November 2011.
In September, friends and family of Nick gathered for the first annual Nick Teddy Fight Against Ewing’s Sarcoma 5K.
Kids played games and did a fun run, participants gathered for an after party at a local bar, and more than $17,000 was raised. Now that money is being contributed to the fight against the rare form of cancer Strub passed away from last year.
A native of Port Byron, Ill., Nick attended Iowa State because of the strong engineering program and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in December 2004.
After college he accepted a job in Nebraska and began dating his lifelong friend Krissy, also from Port Byron. The two got engaged and were eventually married, but not before facing some difficult news.
In 2006 back pain prompted Nick to visit the doctor, where he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a bone cancer that typically afflicts children and adolescents. The disease was found in almost all of Nick's body, but his wife, Krissy Strub, said they focused on the fight, not the prognosis.
“Even if they said it’s terrible, we weren’t going to give up,” Krissy said.
Nick braved a five-year battle with Ewing’s, maintaining his signature optimism throughout.
“He just had the most positive outlook on life, nothing got him down. You would have never known he was sick,” Krissy said.
Nick passed away in November of last year, and at his memorial service in Omaha, Nick’s sister-in-law Holly Larson began thinking about a way to honor his memory.
“My sister was just so touched and moved by what a great group of friends we have, and how special the memorial was,” Krissy said. “She had asked me if I minded if she and her husband worked on trying to set up some sort of annual event to get this same group of people together.”
That request turned into the Nick Teddy Fight Against Ewing’s Sarcoma 5K, an event that is expected to continue and grow along with the Nick Teddy Foundation.
Tony Schubert lived with Nick during their years at Iowa State and shared many quintessential college memories with him. Schubert said he remembers Nick’s tireless joy for life.
“He was an absolute blast to hang out with, and always in the best of spirits, like the most positive kid on the planet,” Schubert said.
Schubert, an avid runner, traveled to Port Byron and ran the 5K in September. His goal of breaking the 20-minute mark was accomplished, and he finished in first place overall.
“It was really awesome to cross the finish first and give Nick’s mom a hug,” Schubert said.
“At the halfway point I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to win this as long as I keep it up,’ and I wasn’t going to let anybody pass me at that point. I wasn’t thinking about how tired I was; I was just thinking about winning for my buddy.”
More than 100 people ran the 5K, and many more took part in the day’s festivities.
“I was just blown away at how much thought and effort they put into it,” Schubert said of the race.
Krissy too was overwhelmed at the success of the event.
“To see what all these people had worked so hard to pull together, I just couldn’t believe it,” Krissy said.
The $17,000 raised will be donated to the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, which helps fund research studies devoted to curing sarcoma.
“The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative has been around for quite a while, they’re established and we trust them very much to do really good things with this money,” Krissy said.