Walking with a Purpose

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.