What is Spin for Steven?
Spin for Steven is a student-run cycling event organized by the men of Pi Kappa Alpha that benefits the Steven Vanover Memorial Research and Scholarship Fund. We focus to support the families and doctors fighting sarcoma and funding education. This year of fundraising ends in a celebration with a cycling circuit in which hundreds of cyclers ride stationary bikes for 20-minute increments. We are setting very high goals with hopes to see over 700 bikers and $22,500 raised.
Spin for Steven shares the same goals of the Steven Vanover Memorial Research and Scholarship Fund: to spread awareness of rare cancers and to preserve the legacy of Steven Vanover.
Who Is Steven?
Steven knew what was important in life. He had a strong faith. He loved his fiancé. He loved his family. And he cherished his friendships. As far as Steven was concerned, it wasn't about what clothes you wore, or what car you drove, or how much money you had. It was about being genuine, honest, loyal, kind, and fun loving. These were just some of the qualities Steven possessed that made him so special.
Steven had big plans for his future. He received his Masters of Engineering from Louisville Speed School in May 2013, with a job waiting for him upon graduation. He dreamed of buying a home, getting married and having children. But his life took an unexpected turn in December 2013. He was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma known as DSRCT.
He immediately began an intense regimen of chemotherapy, which he continued throughout his illness. During that next 15 months, he did everything the doctors and nurses asked of him. Despite receiving chemotherapy every 3 weeks, he managed to maintain his sense of humor and continued to stay positive. Steven loved life and was determined to keep living. He fought incredibly hard to beat this brutal disease, and never gave up. His courage was a true inspiration to all of us.
Steven passed away on March 12, 2015, at the age of 24--so many of his dreams left unfulfilled, so many plans left incomplete. But at least for the short time he was with us, he kept his priorities straight. He taught us to appreciate what is truly important in life. Although we miss him every single day, we are better people for having known him.
Steven was an engineer. He was a musician. He was Sergeant at Arms and two time New Member Educator of the Kappa Zeta Chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity on Louisville's campus. He also served as Vice President of the Greater Louisville Pi Kappa Alpha Alumni Association. His legacy lies not within his battle with cancer, but within a lifetime of memories and achievements. Even in his final months, dealing with complications and pain, Steven left his mark by uplifting everyone around him and filling them with hope through friendship, music, and positivity.
Who Do We benefit?
The Steven Vanover Memorial Research and Scholarship Fund was established in March 2015 to preserve the legacy of Steven Daniel Vanover, and to raise awareness for rare forms of cancer, particularly sarcomas, and fund students to go to school.
The Steven Vanover Memorial Research and Scholarship Fund (SVMRSF) was created to preserve the memory of someone who truly embodied what it means to live and to love fiercely, and to raise money to support the cutting edge research that could bring about better treatment options and a cure for sarcoma. Support will help fund sarcoma research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and provide academic scholarship for high-achieving students at the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering and St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 2016, the SVMRSF raised $96,005.24. $70,000 of these dollars went to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for continued funding of a Phase II clinical study, $10,000 to the University of Louisville to fully fund the scholarship endowment, and $10,000 to St. Xavier High School for scholarship endowment.
In 2017, the SVMRSF raised $139,444.13. $100,000 of these dollars went to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for continued funding of a Phase II clinical study, and $30,000 went into combined scholarships.
Through close partnership with the Pi Kappa Alpha Kappa Zeta Chapter, the Steven Vanover Memorial Research and Scholarship Fund is yet another step closer to fulfilling their mission.