Five Years Later, Young Man Diagnosed With Stage 4 Brain Cancer Shares How Cannabis Helped His Recovery And What The Best Medicine Really Is

Zinger Key Points
  • DJ Stewart is a 33-year-old lifelong skateboarder, cannabis advocate and brain cancer survivor.
  • Cannabis brand Timeless partnered with DJ Stewart on Shred for the Cure campaign raising a non-profit battling against brain cancer.
  • “I absolutely stand by saying that the best medicine is a positive attitude,” DJ Stewart says.

"F*ck cancer," says DJ Stewart, a 33-year-old skateboarder from Kansas City, who some five years ago was given 18 months to live. Now, he is living a normal life, and even better, he's become an inspiration and hope for people dealing with the same or similar horrifying cancer diagnosis.

In 2018, DJ Stewart was first diagnosed with muscle cancer called Leiomyosarcoma, then within a year he was confirmed to have a stage IV glioblastoma, the most aggressive and deadliest brain tumor. During his medical treatment, which included chemotherapy, two craniotomies, radiation and the Gamma Knife procedure, he turned to several alternatives which included cannabis, exercise, and last, but not least – a positive attitude.

Now, this brain cancer survivor is also a cannabis advocate who has dedicated his life to helping others. He partnered with marijuana-focused lifestyle brand, Timeless on Shred for the Cure's second campaign, which raises money for Head for the Cure, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and funding in the battle against brain cancer.

Last year, an inaugural campaign in Missouri managed to raise $13,000, and this year it is hoping to raise $50,000 across six markets – Arizona, California, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and Oklahoma. For the second campaign, Timeless also teamed up with Kansas City artist John F. Malta, who designed the flip case and battery combo.  All sales profits from these specially crafted products are donated to Head for the Cure. Benzinga wanted to learn more about DJ Stewart, his story and his recent efforts to spread support as well as this compassionate campaign. We spoke with DJ Stewart and Kyle Webb, vice president of marketing at Timeless.

"Five years ago, I had just bought my first home and proposed to the girl of my dreams in an epic fashion," DJ Stewart began his story. "On my first day of a new job, I was very excited about it. I had a seizure and discovered that I had the most aggressive type of brain cancer. I was given a maximum of 18 months to live. Now, five years later, my wife and I have turned that diagnosis into a dream life working for the incredible nonprofit HeadForTheCure. I now get to channel all of my positive energy into helping others going through this terrible diagnosis and I get to do it in an amazing creative and fun way."

Becoming An Advocate For Something Versatile And Healing

While his first experience with marijuana was similar to many who try it out and consume casually and recreationally, this all changed drastically after his diagnosis. "Especially early on in the days of chemo and radiation. I needed it to help with the pain of the initial craniotomy and especially to gain my appetite back. I remember being heavily medicated with things like seizure meds, and steroids to reduce the swelling, which all would keep me up at all hours of the night until I started supplementing cannabis into my routine."

Asked to describe cannabis in one word, DJ Stewart couldn’t decide between two "versatile" and "healing."

Best Medicine Is a Positive Attitude

DJ Stewart shared his story on numerous occasions and in an award-winning documentary. Rare Enough, directed by Ryan Lovell, depicts his struggles and healing process. The thought behind the film was that if DJ Stewart was rare enough to get glioblastoma, maybe he was rare enough to beat it.

DJ Stewart often says that the best medicine is a positive attitude and highlights the importance of family and friends.

"I absolutely stand by saying that the best medicine is a positive attitude, but I know that my positive attitude would not be possible without the incredible group of people that I have behind me," DJ Stewart told Benzinga."My advice to those going through any type of battle of their own similar to mine is to lean on your support system when you need them, but also check on them to make sure that they are doing OK. No one can win this fight alone. If you do feel alone, reach out to me directly or to Head for the Cure."

See Also: World-First Clinical Trial Using Cannabis-Based Drug To Treat Deadly Brain Tumors Recruits First Patients

Shred For The Cure Campaign

With the support of Timeless and his friend John F. Malta, DJ is fighting against cancer by developing skateboarding-inspired collectible flip cases, merchandise and a signature strain.

"It's really hard to put into words how blown away I am that I get to do all these amazing things," DJ Stewart shares. "The signature melon grab strain is not only delicious with the hints of citrus, melon and coconut, but the thoughtfulness into the anti-inflammatories for recovery not only skateboarding, but in my just everyday life of being a cancer fighter.

"I started skating when I was like 13 years old and every skateboarder lives for the idea of designing a board and apparel and getting to call it their signature. I would've never thought that my brain tumor diagnosis would make some of those dreams come true, but it could've never happened without the amazing team at Timeless every step of the way they have shown me so much love and support and are doing so much to help us fight brain cancer all over the country."

The team just completed the second annual Shred for the Cure event at the Harrison St., Diy skate park in Kansas City where hundreds of people came together with skateboarding, music and art.

Perfect Trifecta

Timeless marketing vice president shared how it all started. "Since DJ used cannabis for pain management during his cancer treatment, and is a skateboarder, there were natural intersections with the Timeless pillars of community and culture," Webb told Benzinga. "DJ introduced us to artist John F. Malta and it was the perfect trifecta for us to include an artist legacy flip case in the campaign. Our Artist Legacy Program is a way to use the Timeless flip case as a canvas and John’s ‘Shred for the Cure’ flip case became a team favorite."

Webb continued, "The flip cases are sold individually in dispensaries committed to the cause, and each state has its own flip case design. In addition to asking dispensaries to make a donation, we will have links for shoppers to scan in participating dispensaries to make their own donations."

Timeless x John Malta x Shred for the Curecourtesy photo

Webb anticipates that Timeless donations will help exceed the $50,000 fundraising goal. In 2025, the company hopes the campaign will run in nine states or more.

People can support the ‘Shred for the Cure’ campaign by donating directly to Head for the Cure or by purchasing a Timeless ‘Shred for the Cure’ flip case and battery.

In conclusion, DJ Stewart thanks Timeless for the campaign and reminds everyone, "F*ck cancer as always. Make plans. Give yourself things to look forward to."

Now read: How One Cannabis Blunt Changed This Man’s Life: From Monthly Seizures And Depression To A Holistic Lifestyle

Featured image: Courtesy of K_E_N via Shutterstock

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Posted In: CannabisNewsExclusivesDJ StewartHead for the CureJohn F. MaltaKyle WebbShred for the CureTimelessTimeless Vapes
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