‘Rarest, most aggressive form of brain tumor’: Cancer survivor shares journey before Head for the Cure in San Antonio

DJ Stewart featured in film documenting daily battle against brain cancer

SAN ANTONIO – The 9th annual Head for the Cure 5K Run/Walk in San Antonio will be held this Saturday to raise funds and awareness for people battling brain cancer.

DJ Stewart, a 31-year-old Kansas City man who bravely shared his battle in an intimate documentary seen around the world, will be in San Antonio to meet with other survivors and families.

“I knew that if I wasn’t completely vulnerable, completely open, I was doing myself and the project an injustice, and every other survivor could potentially see that,” said Stewart.

RELATED: Head for the Cure 5K returns to San Antonio for 9th year

Stewart was diagnosed with a Grade 4 Glioblastoma brain tumor in 2019. He said the tumor was the size of a golf ball, and he was told he had between a year and 18 months to live.

“It’s the rarest, most aggressive form of brain tumor,” said Stewart. “Doctors said 12 to 18 months, but here I am -- three and a half years later and no real deficits.”

Stewart did not hesitate to share his story after his diagnosis. One of his best friends, Ryan Lovell, filmed a documentary with Stewart about his daily journey.

“The whole process of making it and what has come from it, I can never imagine not giving it everything,” said Stewart. “The film is called ‘RARE ENOUGH.’ If i’m rare enough, so are you.”

The powerful film chronicled Stewart’s treatments and the daily struggle to fight brain cancer. The people that supported him every day have also been Stewart’s inspiration to keep fighting and living.

“We had an entire city behind us, and it keeps growing. My rocks (are) my direct family -- my wife, mom, dad, in-laws, grandma,” said Stewart. “I couldn’t have done it without all of them, because they were there. Everybody dropped whatever was going on.”

That’s the support Stewart wants to spread. He connected with the CEO and president for Head for the Cure, bought an RV and now travels to different events and gatherings, speaking to other survivors and families facing similar situations.

“So many people have connected with my story somehow, and it could be completely unrelated to a different illness or a bad day,” said Stewart. “And to know that my dumb jokes or the fact I ride a motorcycle and skateboard still somehow translate into something that people really give a damn about -- it is helping them. I can’t put a word on it. It’s just an honor that I never could quantify in a million years.”

Stewart and his wife will make their first trip to San Antonio this weekend for Head for the Cure, another opportunity to discuss his survival story and give a message of hope to others.

“It keeps working. I’m still here. I’m still doing incredible things that I would have never thought I had the honor to do, so just keep going,” said Stewart.

You can click here for more information on Head for the Cure.

You can watch “RARE ENOUGH” here.


About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Rick Medina is a Video News Editor at KSAT. A graduate of the University of Texas' prestigious Radio-Television-Film program, he has been in the news business for more than 20 years. Rick is also a documentary filmmaker, helming the award-winning film festival favorites, “The Opossum Begins” and “Amigoland.” He is originally from Brownsville.