Race for Hope DSM is an annual event inspired by 16-year- old Des Moines native, Nicolas Lovan. In November 2012, doctors diagnosed Nicolas with an inoperable brain tumor. Despite recently having brain surgery, Nicolas had an immediate desire to become an advocate. In May 2012, Nicolas and his mother attended the Washington, D.C. Race for Hope to raise funds for the National Brain Tumor Society and advocated for more research and funding by meeting with Congress at the White House Head to the Hill event.
The Washington, D.C. Race for Hope inspired Nicolas to host a similar event in Des Moines with the goal of becoming an annual event during Brain Tumor Awareness month in May to bring awareness to the cause, raise funds for research, bring the community together, pay tribute to those who have passed and celebrate survivors.
Race for Hope DSM launched in May 2013 with 600 participants and raised more than $25,000. Over the past six years, Race for Hope DSM has raised more than $200,000 for brain tumor research. The all-volunteer staff prides itself in keeping costs as low as possible in order to maximize proceeds sent to brain tumor organizations.