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by Jamie Bearse   |   June 20, 2018

Love for the Trip

It wasn’t until I touched down in Wichita that I saw it in my backpack. It was an old-school brown lunch bag with my wife’s handwriting on it: “Thought you’d need some love for this trip”. Inside: Almonds, dried pineapple, and Reese’s mini peanut butter cups.

She was, as always, right to send provisions. It was Father’s Day weekend and funny enough, there are no direct flights to “The Air Capital of the World”. Wichita has turned out some mighty airplanes over the years, but it’s also home to some fiercely passionate prostate cancer champions.

At the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk that Saturday, I spent time with Bill and Linda Starnes and their lovely family. Meeting them in person was a moment five years in the making; it was actually a trip to Fort Myers, FL that lead to this moment. That’s where I met their daughter-in-law, Christina, who then reached out to Wichita Urology to bring the Run/Walk to Kansas.

Bill’s going on eight years now fighting prostate cancer, and Linda and their proud family of Army brats have stood by him every step of the way. Bill’s been through all possible treatments up until now; if you or someone close to you has been fighting cancer, you know what that means. He needs more options and he’s counting on us to come through.

The truth is we’re only on this planet once and we all need some love for the trip. I went to Wichita to let Bill know that he’s not alone. Meeting him and his amazing, dedicated family is something I’ve been looking forward to for years, and I was thrilled to finally connect with them at this event.

There’s an expression in the military I think is important: winning hearts and minds. We’re putting together an army of our own to advance research and spread awareness. If we’re going to help our loved ones who make this crazy trip all worth it, we need YOU. Lace up your walking shoes and tell us: what run/walk will we see you at this year?