Casey Taub was one of a kind. He was a funny, often opinionated, old soul with a love of Marvel movies and sports. He was the kid who could engage adults as easily as he could rally his friends. But in January 2016, Casey needed his friends and loved ones to rally around him. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, he put up the fight of his life until he passed away in July 2017.
Throughout Casey’s 17-month battle with brain cancer, the Matthew Larson Foundation for Pediatric Brain Tumors was a consistent, reliable source of support for the Taub family. Founded in 2007 in memory of seven-year-old Matthew Larson, the Foundation has funded almost $3 million in grants for pediatric brain tumor research and has helped families cope with the emotional and financial struggles of caring for a child with brain cancer.
After Casey’s death, his father, who dedicated himself to finding a positive way to cope with this devastating tragedy, joined the board of the Matthew Larson Foundation. “I wanted to help the foundation that helped us,” states Taub. “Everything I’m doing is to try to eradicate pediatric brain cancer, and I want Casey’s name to be associated with eliminating the disease that did him in.”
To that end, Taub established the #taubstrong Movement as a component of the Matthew Larson Foundation.
#TaubStrong was a slogan created by Casey’s closest sleep away camp friends at Chipinaw, who designed and sold t-shirts to support Casey while he was sick. When Casey came up to visit camp, everyone was wearing the t-shirt. “It was extremely meaningful to him,” says his father.
Taub credits the Chappaqua and Greeley community, “especially Casey’s closest friends, who have been unbelievable,” with helping to keep Casey’s memory alive. “The fact that Casey will always be part of this community is extremely important to me,” stresses Taub.
Casey was an avid soccer fan and player; he was a valued member of the Greeley soccer team. On August 22nd, Greeley Boys’ Varsity Soccer hosted its first annual Casey Taub Memorial 22:22 Soccer Jamboree benefiting the #taubstrong Movement for the Matthew Larson Foundation for Pediatric Brain Tumors.
The event, organized by Casey’s friends and teammates on Greeley Boys’ Varsity Soccer, as well as Camp Shropshire, Casey’s beloved soccer coach, began with a dedication ceremony. His father, Jonathan Taub spoke, and Casey’s number 22 jersey was retired. The Byram Hills Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team retired Casey’s number for what would have been his final high school soccer season. Soccer boosters sold CT22 merchandise and food, all of the participating teams made donations, and the event raised over $2300 to the #taubstrong Movement at the Matthew Larson Foundation. Taub hopes that this event will grow and become an annual kickoff to the soccer season in Casey’s memory.
Casey’s classmates in the 2019 Greeley Senior Class also donated proceeds from the Senior Carwash to the #taubstrong Movement. Greeley juniors, Emma Rosh and Charlotte Templeton, contacted Taub to start a club in Casey’s name. With Casey’s treasured Spanish teacher, Senor Warren, as the faculty advisor, they launched the CT22 Club. This year, the CT22 Club raised over $2000 from CT22 merchandise at Chappaqua’s Community Day.
Looking ahead, Taub hopes to extend the #TaubStrong movement beyond Chappaqua. “It would be great to get CT22 clubs in all Westchester high schools,” notes Taub, who plans to develop a full line of #taubstrong CT22 merchandise. Most importantly, Taub, who recently spoke at the Matthew Larson Foundation’s annual fundraising dinner, said that he is looking forward to the day that fundraising dinners are replaced by “celebratory dinners because there is no longer any cancers killing kids.” One day, he hopes, “Casey’s name will be associated with a cure for this horrible disease.”
For more information about the Matthew Larson Foundation, please visit www.ironmatt.org. To donate to this foundation in memory of Casey, please use #TaubStrong when you make your donation.