The 3rd Annual Johnstown Walk of Hope will raise money to help local families fighting cancer.
Each year, the walk raises about $30,000 to help pay for extra expenses when traveling to-and-from treatments: food, gas, medicine, etc.
“We split the money between UPMC Cancer Center, Conemaugh Cancer Center through their 1889 Foundation, Joyce Murtha Breast Cancer center and we started a children’s fund for families who have to go out of ton,” said Marlene Singer, the chairperson for the Walk of Hope.
The Richards family says expenses add up while driving back and forth from treatments in Pittsburgh. Heather Richards’ stepson, Jake, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma in January. He finished chemotherapy and is almost done with radiation.
“He’s come very far in the past six months. We do know there’s a way to go yet,” Richards said.
Gift cards are given to families like the Richards to help pay for their extra expenses.
“Even more than the monetary value from the gift cards, just knowing the support of the community and everybody’s behind Jake and that local connection, it really makes a huge difference,” Richards said.
She said Jake is feeling strong and the support from the community helps keep her family strong, too. Jake’s family says if his scans look good later this summer, he’s planning to go back to school full-time in the fall.
“He never gets down. He’s never sad. He really just faces it like a warrier and he’s going to beat it. We know that,” Richards said.
The Walk of Hope runs from 9am-6pm on Saturday, June 2 at Trojan Stadium in Johnstown. Anyone is welcome to attend to help raise money. There will be food, music and basketball.