skip navigation

"Strikeout Cancer"

By MSHSBCA, 03/29/18, 5:45AM CDT


The "Strikeout Cancer Campaign" was started by Todd Oakes when he was the pitching coach at the University of Minnesota and diagnosed with cancer. His wife and three sons have carried on with the campaign since the passing of Todd.

Strikeout Cancer


            Stuart Scott once said, “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”  It is safe to say that Todd Oakes did not let cancer defeat him.  Todd impacted hundreds of student athletes and youth through coaching the game of baseball.  He set an example of how to live life with integrity.  His Strikeout Cancer Campaign is something that meant a lot to him, and we are going to continue to fundraise in his honor.  


Todd was originally diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in June of 2012.  Through a fantastic team of doctors and healthcare professionals along with a “Why Not Me?” attitude, Todd was able to hear the word remission after a stem cell transplant from his brother.  Unfortunately, the leukemia returned again in November of 2014.  Again, Todd leaned on the medical staff, his faith, and his attitude to fight for remission.  After receiving a donor lymphocyte infusion, his health improved.  However, the leukemia would return in October of 2015 for the 3rd time.  Todd passed away in May of 2016.


Our family was fortunate enough to have Todd with us for 4 years after his initial diagnosis.  Many people diagnosed with cancer are not that lucky, especially those with a blood cancer such as leukemia.  After being diagnosed, Todd immediately wanted to help others that were in a similar situation.  He became actively involved with LLS (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) to raise money for further research on treatments to help other patients hear remission.  A major fundraiser combined his passion to help others with his love of baseball, Strikeout Cancer.  


Our family wants to continue Todd’s mission of allowing every patient with cancer to hear the word remission.  We are asking all of you to join us once again to be a part of Team T.O.  This fundraiser has been amazing the past few years.  The outpouring of support from all over the state has been incredible.   We hope that this fundraiser continues to grow and more and more teams are able to participate.  It would be great if all teams could organize a Strikeout Cancer event.  All of the money raised will go towards blood cancer research to continue to give hope to everyone for a healthy future.


          Our goal is to raise $25,000 so that we can earn another research grant in honor of Todd.  Please consider joining Team T.O. in this effort against blood cancers.  Together we can make a difference!  We wish you the best of luck with your season!



Here are some ideas on how you can contribute to the campaign:

1 - make a one time donation on behalf of your team - team members and
coaches pool their donations and either donate online through our
personal website or make out a
check to LLS and send to our home address - 770 Leon St - Jordan MN

2 - keep track of strikeouts that you accumulate as a team during the season and come up with a team pledge per strikeout or ask your players to get individual pledges from friends
and family per strikeout - pool your pledge money and make a donation
on behalf of your team - on our website or with a check as above

3 - pick out a home game as a cancer awareness game and give it a little promotion and "pass
the hat" through the crowd and fan base seeking donations

4 - ask a business or two in your community to match your team's donation

5 - be creative and come up with any other idea you might have - use
it as a team building, perspective type exercise

6 - recruit parents or booster club members to help organize an event  

We know a lot of teams already do something like this for other
charitable organizations, and we do not want to take away from that. We
certainly respect your decision to not participate in this campaign if
that is the case or if you just simply choose to not participate.

Please check out our website to learn more about the campaign –

Cash or checks made out to LLS – send to The Oakes Family – 770 Leon St – Jordan MN 55352