Three 'gingers' -- JD, Casey and Patti -- say the pledge of allegiance before the walk.

Two weeks ago, Patti, Casey, JD and I participated in the Pancreatic Cancer Fun Run/Walk on a Saturday morning in downtown Austin. We were joined by friends Mike, Jess, Kaedon, Brady, Mason and Mary.

We were also joined by a the spirits of a number of contributors. When we announced that we were going to participate in the fun run/walk, we gathered contributions and raised just about $1,000 for the walk and pancreatic cancer research. God bless you all for your generous contributions.

It was a real blast to do this. For participating, everyone got a dark purple Purple Stride T-shirt and a number. But not me. I got a light lavender “Survivor” shirt and a number. I wore the shirt proudly that day and I wear it now. There is something about “survivor” that is really comforting. They even took a photo. There were 7-8 of us that were survivors of the 600 that gathered for the walk.

And, as you might imagine, it was a very emotional walk. Walking along the 3-mile course, I noticed that many of the folks who were walking with purple shirts, had special paper placards pinned to their shirts. “I am walking/running for …” Then, the individual used a Sharpie to write in the name of the person, past or present, for whom they are walking.

Just about every walker had a placard. Most were walking for close friends or relatives who were presently undergoing treatment or had died from the disease. Frankly, it was a little disturbing to see people walk by enjoying the cool Fall weather, chatting with friends, walking with pets, but doing so with the name of a loved one attached to them. These folks have a common purpose. They will do what they can to rid the world of this terrible disease.

I am a very lucky man. I know it. To have been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer over a year ago, been told that I had less than 3-months to live, I thank God every day for each day. But on this walk, I saw reminders all around me of those for whom “every day” has run out. But there were definite bright spots.

This is the main one. The fact that there were 7-8 survivors in this group is amazing. A year ago, three years ago, there wouldn’t have been 7-8 folks in that category. There would have been fewer.

And, today, the world is a much smaller place. Our FDA is not the be-all and end-all for treatment regulation. Some here will argue that we will see cures when  the drug companies want there to be a cure.  Maybe.

There are treatments occurring in other countries that are recording amazing results. And, remarkable activities are taking place here in the U.S. that are seeing real results — many of a homeopathic nature. So

Casey and Kaedon are getting ready for the walk

far, I have been fortunate not to have radiation or chemotherapy.

I celebrate every day with faith and laughter. Patti and I joke that laughing kills cancer cells. She gives me something to cause laughter every day. So, together we’re killing the cancer cells, slowly but surely. And, I absolutely believe that every day I am here is a blessing from God.

But enough about philosophy, here are some photos from the fun run/walk in Austin. God bless you all and your loved ones.

Kaedon and Casey lasso a colorful steer along the route

I just wanted to thank the important people

I left a memory note, along with many other walkers

Mason and Jess finished with great vigor

Kaedon and Patti walk through the finish line

JD and I cross the finish line

Brady, Jess, Kaedon, Casey, Mary and Patti take to the streets

Mary and Casey were happy to walk

Brady shares a secret with Dad along the course

Mike, Brady, Jess, Kaedon and Mason are ready to walk

Mason is just ready for someone to push him along the course.