Local Teacher Fighting Battle with Lung Cancer Plans Fundraising Event

Stephen Huff, The Huff Project

Local non-profit, The Huff Project, is planning their first-ever fundraiser to support awareness and research funding for the number one cause of cancer-related death in both men and women. Lung cancer has traditionally been stigmatized as a “smoker’s disease” and has remained under-funded when compared to other cancer groups. Williamson County high school teacher and non profit founder, Stephen Huff, is the perfect example of why that is not the case. At just 29 years old and months away from his wedding, he was diagnosed with stage 4 non small cell lung cancer. He is one of the many examples you can find today, where non-smoking men and women are being diagnosed with this disease.

Since his diagnosis, Stephen has formed The Huff Project, and is fighting back with his first fundraiser this October. With the help of friends and family, The Huff Project is hosting a Singer Songwriter Night at The Factory at Franklin’s Jamison Theatre at 7pm on Wednesday, October 10th. In attendance will be some of Nashville’s top singer songwriters including Tony Lane, Wynn Varble, David Lee, Jeremy Bussey, Billy Montana, Randy Montana, Marti Dodson, Erin Enderlin and Wade Hayes. General admission tickets or reserved tables for 10 are available for purchase here.

Stephen Huff, was diagnosed with stage IV inoperable lung cancer, at the age of 29. Prior to his diagnosis, Stephen lived an incredibly healthy and clean lifestyle. As a former professional baseball player and now a teacher at Centennial High School, he spent his entire life taking care of his body; exercising, eating healthy and never smoking.

Leading up to his diagnosis, Stephen had little-to-no symptoms that anything in his body was going wrong. A lingering cough led him to an urgent care center where he was told he had bronchitis. But, when a hard lump in his neck popped up, he demanded some answers and requested a CT scan.  The results changed the course of his life in just one afternoon. Engaged at the time of diagnosis and just months away from their wedding, Stephen and his fiance (now wife) Emily felt hopeless and defeated. They were told that the 5 year survival rate for stage IV NSCLC was less than 5%.

Through their support system of family and friends, they became empowered to learn as much as they could about the different treatment options available for Stephen and others who are facing this disease. Stephen started treatment at Vanderbilt, taking targeted therapy due to a rare genetic mutation (ALK) that caused his cancer.  Soon after they became empowered to become advocates and share their story, so they created The Huff Project.

Stephen and Emily are confident that by raising the awareness of lung cancer, destroying the negative stigma that’s associated with it, and investing in innovative research to continue the development of successful treatment options, they can and will help to create more lung cancer survivors and one day find a cure.