2004 Humor to Fight the Tumor Event

The first annual Humor to Fight the Tumor event took place on Thursday, August 12, 2004.  Within a two-year timeframe, four individuals linked through friendships were diagnosed with brain tumors.  Sharing this common bond, Joelle Syverson brought them together and invited their friends and family to join them for this first time event. The evening surpassed everyone’s wildest dreams as they filled the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest with 450 guests and raised over $90,000 in funds for brain tumor research.

The event featured local celebrity Kim Jeffries as Master of Ceremonies and Scott Burton, world class juggler, comedian, author and cancer survivor as the comedic entertainment.


Joelle Syverson

“I was diagnosed in April 2001 at age 34 with a non-curable and recurring brain tumor, an Oligodendroglioma. I am a stay-at-home mom with three children ages 9, 6, and 3. Since my initial diagnosis I have undergone two surgeries and will continue to have routine MRI’s for the rest of my life.”

Steve Christensen

“I was a 60-year old dentist when I was diagnosed in June 2002 with a benign Olfactory Groove Meningioma brain tumor. It was causing severe headaches as well as changes in behavior and temperament. Surgery was performed to remove the tumor, and recovery has included adjusting to no longer being able to practice dentistry.”

Teresa Mahoney Peterson

“I am a 41-year-old attorney and mother of three boys. I was diagnosed in April, 2002 with an Oligodendroglioma/Astrocytoma brain tumor. Surgery removed the bulk of the tumor, but there is still residual diffuse tumor. I am undergoing chemotherapy with Temodar, and we are monitoring the tumor closely with MRI’s. I also continue to suffer from seizures as a result of the tumor.”

Kelly Vogt

“I was diagnosed in September 2002 at age 12 after having chronic headaches. Surgery was performed to remove anon-recurring benign tumor. I was fortunate to be in the hospital at the same time as my good friend, Christie Blackwood, who was receiving treatment for leukemia. She really carried me through. I’ve had amazing support from family and friends and am now a healthy 14-year-old, enjoying life, yet still suffering from constant headaches.”


  • (Left to Right): Kelly Vogt, Teresa Mahoney Peterson, Joelle Syverson, Steve Christensen

  • Presenter: Kim Jeffries

  • Committee(L-R) Chrisie Weiss, Kari Kilbride, Gina Vogt, Kristin Gabriel, Joelle Syverson, Lisa Gidlow, Ann Lagorio, Jenny Hardacre, Andrea Jarvis-Dircz, Sheri Guimont, Tammy Brooks.

  • Comedian : Scott Burton