Today I walk.
Today my wife walks.
Today my granddaughter walks.
Today all our family walks.
We walk in memory of my sister-in-law, and her courageous battle against breast cancer.
We walk in memory of my aunt, and her determined fight against cancer all the way to the end this summer.
We walk with extreme respect to every woman and man who finds themselves battling cancer of any type.
We walk in support of the families whose loved ones have battled cancer, or who are battling cancer.
We walk to raise money to hopefully one day find a cure to end this dreaded disease, once and for all.
How fair was it that my sister-in-law, a loving, caring and compassionate woman, would die on Christmas morning, 2008, at age 55?
How fair was it that on a day we celebrate the birth of a savior, God would take from this world the life of a saint?
I understand life isn't fair. Unfortunately, it is a lesson we all learn as we walk this path of life.
I also understand that my family's story isn't unique, special or unusual. The region is made up with thousands of families with similar stories, experiences and losses. Today many of them walk as well for many of the same reasons as I do.
Today all of us, stride for stride, hope to turn Alpena pink. In so doing, we strive to offer hope to those who, in the midst of their personal battles, need an encouraging word.
We strive to offer knowledge to those who, for whatever reason, have resisted regular check-ups and screening.
And, we strive to offer encouragement to those who think they face this battle alone.
United we stand and represent past, present and future generations.
Cancer need not be ugly and scary. Today I, my family and hundreds of others will paint over it in layer upon layer of pink. Today waves of pink will flow through town with the force of a tsunami, hoping to eliminate cancer and its negative grip once and for all.
I walk because I don't want to see cancer and its impact on families anymore.
I walk so that my granddaughter's generation hopefully will escape the numbers my generation have had to wrestle with from cancer.
I walk, because I care.