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IOWA Magazine | 04-14-2022

Family Keeps Cancer Patient's Memory Alive by Supporting Iowa Research

In the decade since Tad Agnew's death, an annual Davenport fundraiser has brought together his friends—and more than $350,000 to support the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Need Alt Tag PHOTO COURTESY TAD AGNEW FOUNDATION Family and friends of Tad Agnew host a fundraiser every year in his memory to support melanoma research at UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Cancer put Christopher "Tad" Agnew's dreams of studying at the University of Iowa to become a paramedic on hold.

In 2009, Agnew was diagnosed with stage four melanoma after doctors discovered four lesions on his brain. Following two brain surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and clinical trials, he died of the disease in 2012—just a month shy of his 34th birthday.

In memory of the Bettendorf, Iowa, native, Agnew's family and friends have gathered every year since on his birthday to raise money for melanoma research. On May 14, the Tad Agnew Foundation will hold its 10th annual Tips for Tad fundraiser at a pub in Davenport, Iowa, where guests will add extra tips on their drinks toward the cause.

After collecting just a few thousand dollars in 2012, the event has grown considerably, raising over $350,000 in total through 2021. All donations are directed toward the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, where Agnew received care.

Looking to the future, the foundation plans to increase awareness of melanoma and support potentially lifesaving research. "We've seen firsthand how devastating this disease can be, and we don't want to see other people go through what Tad did," says Tad's father, Chris. "I think he'd be proud of what we're doing to help people."

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Support the the Tad Agnew Foundation.


Find out more on the care and treatment of melanoma at UI Holden Comprehensive Care Center.



Support the the Tad Agnew Foundation.


Find out more on the care and treatment of melanoma at UI Holden Comprehensive Care Center.


Join our email list
Get the latest news and information for alumni, fans, and friends of the University of Iowa.
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