I was diagnosed with what was labelled a stage 4 head and neck cancer in 2014 and I had no clue as to what the future would bring. I will spare you the details of my cancer story but if you are interested here is a link to a speech I gave documenting the journey.
Upon diagnosis a cancer patient is thrust into a whirlwind of doctor visits and treatments. A person can lose their identity because they are now a cancer patient. Tom Brokaw described it best in his book detailing his cancer story, you become a name and date of birth because that is how you indentify yourself during the process to everyone you meet. So I became John Walsh 8-4-60 trying to make it through my cancer treatments.
Fortunately John Walsh 8-4-60 made it through 35 radiation treatments and 6 chemo treatments and to this day I am showing no evidence of cancer. So after 7 weeks of treatments I was just John Walsh again but I was not the same person I was before my diagnosis. I was weak, confused and had no confidence in my mind and body because of the toll treatment took on me.
I went looking for help and I was lucky to find the Livestrong program. The program provides a free 12 week membership to the YMCA along with guidance by specialized instructors to help people affected by cancer strenghten their mind, body and spirit. The Livestrong program was a life changer for me and I truly believe that I am a better person in mind, body and spirit than I was before my cancer diagnosis.
My Livestrong experience is why I am so passionate about helping make sure that anyone who needs the program can participate and with your help we can make that happen!
When I was at my lowest point during treatment I challenged myself and my family that when I recovered we would all go to Disney World and participate in the RunDisney races. In November 2016 we did just that. On Friday the entire family ran a 5K race and then on Sunday 4 of us ran a half marathon. That weekend showed that we were back and better than ever. That moment would have never happened without the Livestrong program and all the wonderful people there that supported us along the way.
That first half marathon was for me to prove that I was indeed fully recovered and actually new and improved after cancer. I promised that the next time it would be about something more important than me. Well ladies and gentlemen that time is now.
In late August I will be travelling to San Francisco, CA to run the Giants Half Marathon. This time I will be running to raise awareness of the Livestrong program as well as raising money to help fund the cost of future participants. Help me go the distance by making a donation to the Livestrong program. All money collected will go toward funding the programs and keep them free for participants. The money will be there to help empower those affected by cancer to live life on their own terms and move beyond cancer.
Thank you for your time and your support!
John Walsh, Livestrong member and cancer survivor
- Donna and Sharon
- Donna & Sharon
- Adam & Sarah Bauer
- Livestrong friends
- Dale Anderson
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more