Side by side. Every step of the way.

Walking with a Purpose

Posted on April 22nd, 2011

During the winter of 2009, Ralph Burgess hadn’t been feeling well, so to improve his health and lift his spirits, he began walking laps at Foster Park with Susie Blaugh, RN, who is in charge of the Health Ministry at The Chapel.

When spring rolled around, in order to give him a goal, Susie encouraged Ralph to participate in the Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana’s 2010 Lapper, the annual walk held to support those affected by cancer. As they prepared for The Lapper, Ralph and Susie would pace laps around the park. After one particularly long walk, Ralph asked Susie if she thought they had walked a mile that day. Susie smiled at him and replied, “Ralph, we didn’t walk one mile today, we walked two!”

Participating in The Lapper showed Ralph that he could still do something for others, even at the age of 92! That year, he proudly walked next to Susie and her friend, Shelley Chapman.

His wife, Shirley, says that walking in The Lapper gave Ralph a sense of purpose. Ralph felt good about walking; he had accomplished something.

This winter, as so many do, Ralph was feeling a little blue, but as spring began to roll around, his spirits lifted and he started to look forward to walking in his second Lapper. He and Shirley have already set off around Foster Park a few times this season in preparation for the big event. Shirley is hoping that this year she can join Ralph in The Lapper, in spite of her recent knee replacement.

Even though Ralph and Shirley haven’t personally experienced cancer, they understand the importance of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, and they understand the importance of being a part of this event.

“Cancer is a wicked thing,” Shirley said, “but any services that help someone through it are beneficial!”

Do you have a story about Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana? If you do, we would love to hear it. Put it in the comments below, or email it to arecker@cancer-services.org.

1 Comment

One Response to “Walking with a Purpose”

  1. Janet Stephenson Says:

    Pourpose, Pupose or Purpose, call it what you want, the message is the same. Ralph and Shirley inspire all of us to get out of “ourselves” and into helping others! And the fact that Ralph is 92 years young adds testament to what the body can accomplish when it is aligned with the mind and spirit! Ralph and Shirley—-all hats off to you and those who you inspire! And kudos to the caring support of Susie Blaugh, RN for your hand up in all this.

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