Imagine a full Memorial Stadium — just over 78,000 people. As the saying goes, it’s the third-biggest city in Nebraska on football game days.

Now imagine they all just received the devastating news that they have a brain tumor.

That’s the reality we live with: each year, 78,000 more people are diagnosed with a brain tumor. They come in more than 120 varieties, making them tough to effectively treat. And they affect the population indiscriminately, with no predictability based on race, age, or gender.

Downer topic? Sure, but there’s good news: Head for the Cure, a Kansas City-founded nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the fight against brain cancer, sponsoring a 5K run/walk every year since 2003. The list of cities where these events take place is up to 22, with more than 100,000 people helping raise more than $8 million for the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC), a network of physicians dedicated to discovering the latest advances to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and safe and effective treatments.

Photo courtesy Head for the Cure

This past weekend, a Head for the Cure 5K was hosted in Omaha — and White Castle Roofing was proud to be a sponsor. We got involved thanks to our Gutters-Fascia-Soffit Logistics and Scheduling coordinator, Patti Burbach, who became active with Head for the Cure when brain cancer hit home.

“Head for the Cure is an event I got into two years ago with my family, after my cousin, Michael, passed away,” Patti said.”He was diagnosed with brain cancer in the fall of 2014, and passed away in the summer of 2015. My dad’s side of the family has always been very large, but we are all very close. Losing Michael was devastating. He not only was my cousin, but one of my best friends.”

Team Michael

Patti and her family and friends, running in honor of Michael Phillips. Photo courtesy Head for the Cure

This was the second Head for the Cure 5K held in Omaha. Previously, the nearest run was in Kansas City, but that didn’t stop Patti’s family from participating. When she brought the run — and the amazing work Head for the Cure is doing because of it — to our attention, it was (pardon the pun) a no-brainer for White Castle Roofing to get involved. It’s always been part of our mission to be actively involved in the health of our community, and that especially includes our own team!

Every little bit counts when it comes to helping support those going through this difficult journey,” Patti said. “I couldn’t be more appreciative of the support I received from White Castle, including those who came out to run. It brought so much joy to an event that is very bittersweet.

Jake, Patti, and Jared

White Castle’s Omaha Director of Operations Jake Hansen and Grand Island Roofing Specialist Jared Loudy joined Patti as participants in the run too!

“Having White Castle choose to sponsor this event was such a blessing not only to myself, but to my family as well. Michael’s parents were so appreciative. When my Aunt Susan realized White Castle had sponsored the event, she broke down in tears. Losing someone you love is one of the hardest things you go through in life, but having someone to stand with you to support you in that grief is an amazing thing.”

We agree — and that’s why it was our joy to participate! For more information about Head for the Cure’s mission and future events, check out their website at