Taking ‘Walk Away From Cancer’ to a whole new level
When Joe Leighton heard about Walk Away From Cancer, he and three friends decided to do just that and within one week, traveled over 500,000 steps. On Friday alone they covered 144,000 steps just within Newark!
Joe was (and still is) captain of the Dominators team which consists of his fellow UPS employee Bill Jackson and two members of the Delaware National Guard (Bryan Yeomans and Russell Fiske) who were affected by the Federal government shutdown and therefore available to walk.
“We know fellow officers who have died from cancer recently,” says Joe, also a member of the DE Guard. “And one of our team members is a survivor so this campaign gave us the opportunity to do something on our own.”
If that wasn’t motivation enough, the Dominators were further motivated by other walkers… or shall we say competitors. “We kept a very close eye on the competition,” Joe says now.
And as the final day of Walk Away From Cancer approached Joe says he and his team were concerned that another team would beat them. Not an option, apparently.
“So we met at my house at 4am, still dark out, and kind of chilly too. We walked from my Salem Woods neighborhood over to Cancer Care Connection’s office building (in the DE Technology Center on Marrows Road), then up Chestnut Hill Road all the way to the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at ChristianaCare, and then back to my house.”
That was 144,000 steps.
“We’re all in pretty good shape but Russell’s more into the weight lifting than cardio so he was feeling it,” Joe remembers. And of course they weren’t just walking.
“We used the app on the Walk Away From Cancer site to update our friends, posted pictures of us at our destinations on Facebook and circulated text messages and the donations came flowing in. One guy sent $100.
“We really just put a face to the cause, brought it to life and people responded.”
Janet Teixeira, Executive Director of Cancer Care Connection, sees Joe and his Dominator teammates a little differently.
“The Dominators were unstoppable,” Janet says. “They put forth a heroic effort and actually, that’s often what a person does to overcome cancer. I rest easier at night knowing that our country is served by people with such grit and determination.”
The Dominators were the team with the most steps walked and second in most funds raised with $600.
“Joe is a genuine game changer,” Janet says. “We thought this event would be great for students at the University of Delaware, and it was. Joe happened to see a sign on our door and got involved. We have now determined that next year we’ll have two categories of participants: students and non-students, thanks to Joe and the Dominators.”