Honor a Loved One at the Prevent Cancer 5K

September 24, 2015

Time….. What would we do if we had more time? Hours before my dad passed, my family gathered around his bedside and he reminded us that life is about service. My dad devoted himself to his family, church and community; his life reflected what he believed to be most important. Known as the neighborhood dad, coach and deacon, his day was filled helping others. His trademark was his joyful attitude and consistent smile.

On December 13, 2013 my dad died from a rare form of cancer called Cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile duct). During his brief stay in the hospital the week prior, my dad never lost his spirit. His passing was the biggest life lesson for me. Now, and even during his treatment, I remember thinking I wanted him to have more time. If my dad had more time I know it would be spent SERVING others. He believed that true service is extending help. keestra 1

As I approached my 30th birthday, instead of celebrating myself, I knew I wanted to honor my father’s legacy and somehow incorporate a cause that was not only meaningful to me, but also one that would be helpful to others on many levels. With my dad being an avid runner, I was excited to hear about the Prevent Cancer 5K Walk/Run taking place in Washington D.C. a day after my birthday in 2014. My mother and brother flew in from Seattle to participate in this event.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation provided me with an amazing opportunity to share an experience with my family that honors my dad’s triumphant spirit of fighting the good fight, finishing life’s race and keeping the faith. I also got to work with my local and extended community to spread the importance of cancer prevention.

Keestra 3At the 5K, my family got to honor my father on the Foundation’s memorial wall. The walk/run was a great way to celebrate his life and motivated us to emulate his giving heart and active lifestyle.

In whatever capacity you can lend a hand—whether it’s taking time to listen, giving someone a genuine smile and a big hug, going out of your way to accommodate others, spreading hope and joy—when you invest in the lives of others you create an experience that fosters acceptance and a great love for humanity. The Prevent Cancer 5k provides an opportunity to help and serve others, and I hope you will join me at the walk/run this year on Sunday, October 4th.

Together, we can raise money for cancer prevention and honor those who have faced cancer. Together, we can honor my dad’s legacy and do something to serve others.

You can register here for the Prevent Cancer 5K Walk/Run.

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