Keith’s Walking Warriors welcome recruits in 5K to fight colon cancer
Keith’s Walking Warriors want your help.
This Sunday, Keith’s Walking Warriors will continue their mission of trying to raise as much money as possible for the Rhode Island Colon Cancer Alliance.
The group, which will include men, women and children of all ages, will participate in the 5th annual Colon Cancer Alliance of RI’s 5k Walk/Run. Registration starts at 9 a.m. at Warwick City Park. The walk/run steps off at 10.
In the middle of all the excitement will be Jake Raymond, the son of Keith Raymond, who, after a courageous battle, succumbed to colon cancer three years ago. He was 50.
“Ever since Keith passed away, we’ve dedicated much of our time to the fight against colon cancer,” said Lori Raymond, a former Warwick Police officer turned real estate broker and full-time mother. “Last year we had over 100 of our family and friends joins us for the walk. We are proud to support the Colon Cancer Alliance in Keith’s name and sincerely hope we can surpass that total of walkers – or runners – this Sunday.”
Lori Raymond’s crusade was so successful in 2012, Keith’s Walking Warriors raised upwards of $2,500 on the day of the 5K (3.1-mile) run and walk.
Barbara Joyce, president of the Colon Cancer Alliance of RI, is also hoping for a record turnout. People who have not yet registered but still want to participate, may still do so by showing up on Sunday. Entry fee is $15 per runner.
“They give T-shirts to all the people who enter,” said Raymond, who has also become a Home & Hospice volunteer since her husband’s tragic passing. “This is an important event that Jake and I are proud to support. The group reaches out to communities with information and awareness about this silent killer.”
Raymond said what’s even more important, is that money is also used to help people get colon cancer screenings and colonoscopies.
“This disease is awful,” Raymond said. “This will be my third year entering this walk with my son Jake. We’re going to do this every year ... we need to raise more awareness about colon cancer. Keith died from this silent killer in May 2010. He had no symptoms until our son was born. And he found out he had colon cancer when Jake was just 5 months old.”
Keith Raymond was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer and had an operation that removed 14 to 16 inches of his colon.
“We thought he had made it through this ordeal and would be one of the lucky ones,” Lori Raymond said. “However, despite going through six months of preventive chemotherapy, he was rescanned and the cancer was now in his liver and lungs. The battle was on and for the next year, Keith underwent numerous procedures, chemo sessions and finally clinic trial drugs.”
Because of the grueling pain her husband had to endure, Lori Raymond joined the Colon Cancer Alliance after his death.
“I want my son to know that there are groups of people out there who want to help spread the word of this disease,” she said.
Sunday’s 5K will include food, music, raffles, balloon release and trophy awards.
To enter Sunday’s 5K run and walk, get more information or make a donation to the Colon Cancer Alliance of RI, call Barbara Joyce at 739-5623.