TAMPA, Fla. — Jeff Eakins is well-known as Hillsborough County Superintendent, but few realize he’s a cancer survivor. A simple skin check for a constant itch turned into a Clark level IV melanoma diagnosis. But thanks to surgery at Moffitt Cancer Center, today he is cancer-free.

There was a time when Eakins wasn’t comfortable talking about his cancer, but now he wants to use his journey to help others. He will share his story at the Moffitt Healthy KIDZ Program annual Heart a STEM Teacher event on Feb. 14.

"I feel a deep sense of loyalty to Moffitt and the amazing employees who were consistent in showing me respect, care and concern at every given moment," said Eakins.

Moffitt will host science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers from Hillsborough County schools, Berkeley Preparatory School and Tampa Preparatory School to show support for their hard work in and out of the classroom. The teachers will put their research hats on for a behind-the-scenes tour of Moffitt’s laboratories. They will also learn proper breathing and stretching techniques during a mindful yoga demonstration — tools they can practice in their classrooms.

Moffitt Healthy KIDZ is an innovative health education program for students that reinforces the importance of healthy nutrition, exercise and the dangers of smoking. Through this partnership with Hillsborough County schools, Moffitt showcases opportunities around STEM careers.

WHO: Moffitt Cancer Center and Hillsborough County, Berkeley Preparatory School and Tampa Preparatory School STEM teachers

WHAT: Moffitt Healthy KIDZ Heart a STEM Teacher

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 USF Magnolia Drive, Stabile Research Building, Ferman Family Conference Room

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is a Top 10 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 6,000 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on FacebookTwitter and YouTube