may be gone, but her wish to help young adults with cancer lives on through the community that loved and supported her.
Cassie died March 1, 2012 after battling tubulocystic renal cell carcinoma, a rare form of cancer. She was only 21 years old.
During her four-year illness, Cassie found peace and inner strength at camps such as First Descents in North Carolina and Camp Mak-A-Dream in Montana. Her wish was that all young adults with cancer have the opportunity to experience camp, where she kayaked and climbed despite her diagnosis.
The goal of the Cassie Hines Shoe Cancer Foundation is to raise awareness and financial support for cancer camps for young adults ages 16-30. The Foundation will send young adults to camp by covering travel expenses (most camps are free). They will also raise awareness by offering comprehensive information on camps to cancer patients. A longterm goal includes opening a Michigan-based camp.
The Foundation’s first annual Race In These Shoes event was Sunday morning at Stony Creek and over 500 people participated in either a 5K run/walk, a mile-long walk, or a 200 meter stiletto strut. The attendance far surpassed what organizers originally anticipated, said Karen Hines, Cassie’s mom and the Foundation’s vice president.
“She would love that we’re doing this because she recognized the void,” she said. “She would love the fact that other kids get to experience what she got to experience. She was that kid that cried herself to sleep without anybody knowing it. Once she had that inner peace, she had a different outlook on things.”
Cassie lived in Shelby Township, graduated from Eisenhower High School and attended Michigan State University. Many of her friends, classmates, and supporters attended Sunday’s event in the park, including Ike grad.
The highlight of the morning was the stiletto strut, an event in which racers - including a few big guys - donned spiked high heels than trekked through a circular track. Some even dressed in costume along with their fashionable footwear.
Why shoes? Cassie loved footwear. Her artwork - a drawing of a pink tennis shoe - serves as the Foundation’s logo. A second shoe-themed event, an adult prom called Dance In These Shoes, is set for Oct. 5, 2013 at the Concord Inn in Clinton Township. To donate or for information on the Foundation, visit their website at www.casshinesshoecancer.org.