Tim Grimes celebrates being cancer free, Shawnee Mission East alum thanks his supporters

Tim Grimes has beaten the cancer odds and wants to inspire others.
Tim Grimes has beaten the cancer odds and wants to inspire others.

This is not what you’d expect to hear from someone who has battled cancer for more than two years and just learned he’d beaten the odds.

“This is the scary part, the winning part,” Tim Grimes said Monday. “Now, I don’t know if I’ll end up with a job I don’t want. Fighting cancer was the best part. I had a lot of fun.

“It wasn’t easy, but it was always fun. It gave me a purpose and a reason to enjoy the day. I don’t want to lose that.”

Grimes was sitting on the porch of a house he shares on Warwick Boulevard in Kansas City. His friend is letting him stay there, one of many who’ve helped since he was first diagnosed with cancer in his lungs, liver and spine in September 2014.

At the time, he was given a 5 percent chance of surviving another 18 months. He decided he was, as he put it on Twitter, #NotGoingAnywhere.

Last week, Grimes was told there was no sign of the cancer.

“At first, I was a little thrown off, she didn’t make it exactly clear,” he said of his clinic visit last Thursday. “She made it seem as if there’d been no changes since last time. Then she made it clear, it’s gone.

“There is a spot on the brain that they can’t tell whether its scar tissue or a small tumor. But my other spots on my brain are gone so I’m calling it scar tissue.”

That night, he and buddies went out to celebrate in Westport. And to show how confident he had been before the checkup, Grimes already had decided to throw a party last Friday night. Among those attending, Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs, another cancer survivor.

“He and I have become good buddies,” Grimes said. “He was diagnosed a couple of months after me. The best thing to come of all this is all the friends I’ve made.”

Grimes had no insurance when he was diagnosed two years ago and friends immediately launched a GoFundMe account that raised more than $45,000. There were other fundraisers as well.

A few weeks ago, he had to give up his car because he couldn’t make the payments. Now he’s driving a 2001 Lincoln Town Car courtesy of Zeck Ford in Leavenworth.

And his friends from Shawnee Mission East, Grimes graduated in 2004, have come through big time.

“I had a lot of people from all over, kids I went to schoool with and their parents, taking care of me. Very cool, people I hadn’t heard from at all, “Lancers we will ever be,” he quoted the school song.

Moving forward, Grimes wants to continue working on a documentary about his fight against cancer. He’s got some star power working with him too including Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, George Brett and Berry.

Before he got sick, Grimes worked as a salesman. Now, he’d like to use his story to sell others battling cancer they can succeed.

“I’d love to get involved in the cancer world,” he said. “To give something back. I want to inspire people.

“I was given nine months to live, now it’s two years later. If a lazy guy like me can do it, so can you.”