By Lizette Robles - September 10, 2020
For the Kent’s, Miles for Moffitt is a family affair. Like many others, the lives of Charles, Tina and Caleb Kent have been impacted by cancer.
“Cancer took my father-in-law last summer and he was really close to my son,” Charles said. “My wife is a survivor. My mother-in-law is a survivor. Cancer sucks.”
Tina Kent was treated at Moffitt Cancer Center for thyroid cancer. After her experience, she wanted to help advocate for additional funding to support cancer research. She became a Speak Out for Moffitt volunteer and eventually a full time employee in Moffitt’s human resources department.
“My father passed away from stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer and my mom is a breast cancer survivor,” Tina shared. “I’ve gone through the full cycle of getting to do everything at Moffitt. I do it to help fund a cure for cancer.”
Together as a family, the Kent’s decided to participate in the 2019 Miles for Moffitt event. Even nine-year-old Caleb knew he could also do something to help.
“I participated to help the cancer people to get better and help my grandpa get better,” Caleb said. “I ran for my grandpa.”
The soon-to-be fourth grader raised $1,061 for the Speak Out for Moffitt team.
“I asked all my mom's friends and all my family just to raise money,” Caleb said.
It meant the world to Tina and Charles to see their son dedicated to the mission.
“It was really good to see him out there running for his grandfather,” Charles said. “He's changing the world one step at a time.”
Tina was diagnosed with cancer in her 20s and was told the treatment could cause infertility. She had her miracle baby Caleb at age 36 thanks to help from Moffitt. Dr. John Tourtelot closely monitored her health throughout the pregnancy to ensure her medications where dosed appropriately.
“He was always available to answer questions and took the time to check on me,” Tina said.
On race day, the Kent’s met Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and cancer center founder H. Lee Moffitt. Caleb even had the chance to blow the horn to start the race.
“People I didn’t even know came up to us at the race and gave me a hug when they saw I was a survivor,” Tina said. “As a survivor, I think that's really important to come together. Every dollar counts.”