, Salem, MA

July 18, 2011

Letter: Great turnout for 21st annual Cancer Walk

To the editor:

The 21st annual North Shore Cancer Walk and second annual North Shore Cancer Run took place June 26 at Salem Willows Park.

The sun emerged from the clouds just as Officer Ed Horton, a state trooper from Peabody, kicked off the walk with his inspiring bagpipe music. It was an unforgettable journey of shared purpose and commitment, winding through historic Salem.

Like every year, the route featured an array of entertainers that lent a festive air to this community event. We were extremely moved by this annual celebration of life, hope and courage of all those who have been touched by this disease.

This year, we broke records with estimates of 6,000 walkers and 550 registered runners, nearly 1,200 more participants than last year. We could not have pulled off such a successful event without the outpouring of support from more than 250 volunteers, to whom we are eternally grateful.

Thank you to Kevin Noyes, this year's North Shore Cancer Walk/Run chair, first vice president of Danversbank and director of the Danversbank Charitable Foundation. Thank you for sharing your story with the Walk/Run community and for your dedication to North Shore Medical Center.

While we are still tallying the fundraising numbers, we would like to thank everyone in the community who raised funds or donated to the Walk and Run this year.

Our top individual fundraisers as of the day of the Walk were: Haley Paster of Swampscott ($26,220), Jerry Tucker of Marblehead ($21,751), Debbie Cole of Salem ($7,151), John Gold of Swampscott ($6,350) and Thomas Stevens of Boxford ($5,525). Our top team fundraisers as of the day of the Walk were: Remembering Ruthy/Run for Ruthy ($38,599), Debbie's Snackcakes ($30,948), Team Tucker ($23,426), Team Kathie Mitchell ($13,841), and Team Sylvania ($8,646).

This year, proceeds from the Walk and Run will support the renovation of the inpatient oncology unit at NSMC Salem Hospital as well as wellness services and support programs for the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center in Danvers.

We would also like to thank the sponsors of this year's North Shore Cancer Walk/Run: Danversbank, Beverly Athletic Club, DeIulis Brothers Construction Co., Dunkin' Donuts, Designer Bath and Salem Plumbing Supply, Eastern Bank, Electric Insurance Co., Flowers by Darlene/North Shore Fruit Basket, Team 4ZRT, General Electric, Grosvenor Park Nursing Center, HealthBridge Management, Hutchinson Medical Inc., The Daily Item, Marblehead Bank, MetLife, Moynihan Lumber, North Shore 104.9, SalemFive; Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina; Serafini, Serafini, Darling & Correnti LLP; Shetland Park; Thermal Circuits; Unigraphic; Whole Foods Swampscott; Willow Labs; Wicked Running Club and Zampell.

The Walk/Run would not have gone as smoothly as it did without the support of the City of Salem — Fire, Parks, Parking, and Police departments, the Wicked Running Club, Crosby's Markets and the many refreshment donors, Salem Trolley, and hundreds of volunteers who assisted with the logistics and entertainment of the day.

Finally, we would like to extend a sincere thank-you to those participants and supporters of the North Shore Cancer Walk and Run who are battling or who have battled cancer, as well as those who have lost someone to cancer and participate in their honor. Your presence at the festivities truly reminds us why we do what we do and we thank you for your courage, resolve and inspiration.

Joel H. Schwartz, MD

Director of Oncology Services

James F. McIntyre, MD

Chief, Radiation Oncology

Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center