HINKLEY, Ohio — Their mission of helping families fight cancer through their annual Meadows Turkey Bowl has stood strong for years, but founder Mike Meadows says after three decades of organizing the game, never did he imagine cancer would hit home with his son.
“We really used Pete’s situation as motivation to go out and help other people,” Pete Meadows said.
On January 14, Meadows says he collapsed, had seizures, and was ultimately diagnosed with low-level grade two Oligodendroglioma cancer. That day, Meadows says he felt his world came crashing down.
“When you’re told you have cancer you know a lot of things rush to your head,” he said.
Relief came about a month later when the tumor that had invaded Meadows’ brain was removed.
“I just give all the credit back to god personally where I’m at today because I should’ve had chemo and radiation and I probably shouldn’t have been playing in this game,” he said.
It’s why the Meadows family says this year’s turkey bowl is special.
Meadows says this year we raised $416,000 for families In Northeast Ohio. Last year teams raised $390,000. The money split between St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Mary Grace Memorial Foundation.
“This event is not just a bunch of knuckleheads playing a football game,” said Meadows.
As time goes by, the Meadows know the need will only get bigger across Northeast Ohio, but so will their hearts and efforts to help families come out on top as winners as they defeat their unique battles with cancer.
“Imagine a family out there and I know they’re out there, a family battling cancer, they’re hit with the coronavirus, they may lose a job, but they’re in this pandemic and so they’re in even more need,” Meadows said. “That’s really what motivates us.”