We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation focused on finding effective treatments for pediatric tumors of the brain and spine through funding medical and scientific research. We are a new foundation and just beginning our fundraising efforts. We have begun a major gifts campaign, an annual giving campaign, and are planning to host several small gatherings to promote our cause. The Tanner Seebaum Foundation believes in making a difference for not only children with brain tumors, but for their families as well. We will do this through funding research and building awareness of this tragic disease in our local community. As we fund promising research grants, we will also follow-up to provide a report of the research to impact practitioners in the field. By sharing this information, we hope to eventually create a network of researchers who are working towards promising results that will lead to more effective treatments and eventually a cure.
Tanner enjoyed 8 years of remission and lived a normal life until learning in May of 2012 that his brain tumor had returned, only this time it was a different subtype of tumor and could not be operated on or treated effectively. Tanner and his family were told that Tanner only had months to live. Undeterred, Tanner decided even in the face of a terminal diagnosis, to pursue his passions and dreams – never allowing cancer and brain tumors to slow him down.
After being given such a short time to live, many people would fold immediately. Not Tanner – he exceeded the projections of survival by more than doubling the survival range of his prognosis. In just over one year (May 2012 – July 2013) He obtained his learner’s permit and learned to drive a car. He rappelled off a 40-story skyscraper. He went on vacations to the places he loved. He told his parents that because he loved music and technology, he wanted to become a DJ. Tanner found a new DJ school and instructor Walt White in early June of 2012, became the first student, and diligently worked for 3+ hours a day learning and perfecting his craft. He used music and DJ-ing to channel his sickness and the last year of his life into something positive. Once again, he beat the predicted odds, living far past his diagnosis of only a few months. And Tanner became a great DJ. By the spring of 2013, Tanner was booking more and more gigs and receiving invitations to perform at venues around Denver. As the one-year mark for his diagnosis passed in late-May of 2013, Tanner started having more serious symptoms (but had already doubled his predicted survival), and tests showed his tumor had progressed significantly. Still, his best was ahead of him. The DJ community in Denver had gotten to know Tanner – now DJ Seebaum and his impressive talent and they put together an amazing benefit with some of the biggest DJs in the world flying in to play for free. Despite serious symptoms, Tanner opened up for the headliner and absolutely brought down the house. But he wasn’t done. The largest DJ show in the US is Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. Tanner was invited to perform during EDC week at the Hard Rock Hotel pool, called “Rehab Day Club”. Predictably, he crushed it, despite the bigger-than-life environment. Tanner’s last gig was at BeatPort Live, an international live stream headquartered in Denver that attracts the biggest DJs in the world. Again he set the standard, with dozens of employees dancing in the aisles. Thousands of people were inspired by Tanner who had an incredibly successful DJ career in only one year.
Sadly, Tanner lost his battle with cancer at the age of 16 and passed away on July 12, 2013. Tanner’s life and the way he lived it inspired those who knew him personally, and many people whom he had never met, who found inspiration through his music and determination – tapping into his positive energy and passion for living life to the fullest. He will be deeply missed but his spirit will continue to live in the examples he set for so many.
Tanner’s battle with brain cancer impacted many people positively and TSF has made a difference in impacting the research in the field of pediatric tumors of the brain and spine by raising nearly $800,000.00 and donating these funds to research. To honor Dr. Michael Handler and Dr. Nick Foreman, who not only extended Tanner’s life, but have become personal friends with us as well. We have brought interested friends and family together to create two endowed chairs – one for each doctor respectively. Dr. Michael Handler proudly holds The McMurry Seebaum Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery and Dr. Nick Foreman proudly holds the Tanner Seebaum Zach Tschetter Chair in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology. Both chairs have brought in contributions of over 2 million dollars each.
Tanner exceeded all predictions for survival throughout his life and lived a life full of great accomplishments. He will be missed greatly and his passing reminds us that there is still much work to be done to eventually find the right treatments to change the odds for children with brain tumors. Our work is not done and the Tanner Seebaum Foundation will continue to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research so that outcomes may be more positive for children diagnosed in the future.
Matt and Stephanie Seebaum