Chordoma Foundation

Category Archives: Featured Champions

Stories showcasing the work of chordoma champions


An unexpected champion: Jeff Schilling’s story

Jeff Schilling never expected to be the kind of person who openly shared his experiences with cancer, and he certainly never planned to do it in front of an entire bowling alley full of people.
When Jeff was first diagnosed with chordoma 18 years ago, he didn’t even want to talk about it. At 25 years old, he wasn’t about to let the fact that he had a rare cancer define him or change how people saw him. Continue reading

Iron-maniac: Chordoma Champion racing 10 Ironman triathlons in 10 days

When Kenny Brighton joined the Chordoma Foundation in 2019, his off hours were spent in training mode: preparing for a race involving 10 Ironman triathlons in 10 days. Then came the pandemic; race cancellations followed. Rather than let his preparation go to waste, Kenny decided to pivot, taking the event into his own hands — and legs. As we speak, he’s in the midst of a one-man “Ironman x 10” in the balmy Florida beach town where he grew up. Over 10 consecutive days, he’ll run, bike, and swim a mind-blowing total of 1,400 miles. Continue reading

Chordoma fundraising in a virtual world

Adaptability is a skill we’ve all had to sharpen over the past year; life in a pandemic is anything but business as usual. But coming together to adjust to new conditions and accomplish the improbable is something we in the chordoma community know how to do. So even when COVID-19 put unprecedented roadblocks in the way, Chordoma Champions — individuals who rally their personal network to fundraise for the Foundation, directly supporting research and patient services — forged ahead. Our Champions broke through obstacles none of us could have expected with ingenuity and perseverance. Continue reading

Community fundraising in the age of COVID

In the spring of 2019, John Mainey and his family gathered friends and supporters across multiple states for the Warriors Against Chordoma Golf Tournament and Hoops Challenge in Austin, Texas. Both events were held in celebration and memory of his son, Chuck, an athlete and sports fan who battled chordoma for 15 years before losing his life to the disease in 2014. Together, they raised an impressive $20,000 for chordoma research and patient care, an outcome that surprised and delighted the Maineys. Continue reading



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