Marshall Palmer Jones
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Mr. Marshall Palmer-Jones
Mike Stevenson I love my Dad, I love your Dad Chris, I love your Dad David and I love you too!
The Shea Family
Julie Winneur Ankrum
Last year I wrote the following letter on April 23rd, as my introduction to why I walk for The Wellness House. Little did I know the very next day my life would once again be turned upside down by cancer. I HATE CANCER! On April 24, 2018, my Grandpa, who was just the greatest guy you could imagine, had a pain in his side. He went to the doctor to check it out. (Let me add here that my Grandpa was rarely sick.) His doctor did some tests and my Grandpa went to Alabama and spent a few quick days with his siblings (he is one of 12) and returned home. By the time he returned home, his pain was incredible and my mom hopped on a plane to Maryland to help figure things out. Bottom line - he had Pancreatic Cancer - Stage 4. He was NOT sick on April 23rd. I never needed to "walk" FOR my Grandpa. He walked WITH me. Every single cancer related walk I ever did when I lived in Maryland, my Grandpa was with me. My Grandpa died on May 23, 2018. It was his 78th birthday. In under 30 days cancer took him from me. I miss him all the time. This year, along with walking in memory of my dad, I am also, very sadly, walking in memory of my Grandpa. Cancer is a thief.
The Wellness house helps to keep that thief at bay. For the people who have the opportunity to use their services, I am grateful to play a small role in helping.
Here is my letter from April 23, 2018
I walk in the memory of my Dad - Chris Palmer. This is a small bit of his "story"
This letter will tell my dad's story from a speech I gave this year at school:
My father struggled with cancer from a young age because of sunburn which resulted from hours of time outside with no sunscreen. He fought through countless clinical trials for the three different forms of cancer due to the relentlessness of the cancers strands.
After his third diagnosis with cancer in the form of melanoma, my dad realized that he needed to put everything he had left into two things. These two things were his son’s upbringing and helping those who struggled similar to himself. He followed through by testing new forms of medication and trials as they came out so that hopefully, one day one of these would be able to cure a form of cancer. This day came when the doctors decided to put him through a trial which was supposed to combat his melanoma, however the trial did not stop the melanoma at all, it completely eradicated his lung cancer. Unfortunately my dad passed of melanoma only a short few months after the successful trial because the doctors had not found anything that could stop his ever spreading melanoma. A year after he passed I received a letter from a high school football coach from Florida. He went into detail explaining how his life had been saved due to the trial which had cured my dad’s lung cancer.
It is things like this and the library of recorded videos that my dad left for me in order to truly teach me everything he felt like he hadn’t covered on his abrupt time on this earth, that truly make me want to carry on my dad’s legacy at every opportunity.
For the first nine years of my life Lou Holtz’s famous quote rang through my ears at every mistake or wrongdoing I ever committed. “Do what’s right, do what’s best. Treat others as you would like to be treated.” My dad, Steven Christopher Palmer, was the most morally sound and strong person, I am convinced that I will ever meet. He made sure that he was as honest and fair as he could possibly be to set a perfect example for the me. His actions around everyone he met embodied this quote, which built his legacy around my town and in my heart.
To recap my dad spent his years taking clinical trials before his melanoma became too serious that nothing could slow it down anymore. Although my dad is not with us anymore there are parts of my dad that he has left behind to create his Legacy of Fighters. After that letter from the coach, I realized that the superheroes in the movies that stop a meteor from crashing into the earth or the ones that stop an alien invasion aren’t the only ones that truly matter - its the ones that give their lives to science and find a cure to save millions of people, those are the ones that truly matter.
Although my dad is not here anymore his legacy lives on and we will not stop until Cancer is no more!
This year, once again, I am honoring my dad with this walk. The Wellness House is very important to my family, as we also walk in the memory of my new siblings Mom - MJ Jones. In 2015, my mom married David Jones and along with his triplets, we became a family. In January of 2016, Dave adopted me and now I have the honor of having 2 really great Dads. I know my Dad, Chris, looks down from heaven and smiles at my life these days. I find that his spirit lives in the soul of a dragonfly - as "if your feeling down and you see a dragonfly then he is with you helping you through hard times". I walk for him!
Thank you for supporting me - always,
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