BENEFITING: FJC - A Foundation of Donor Advised Funds
EVENT: Raise Funds For Wendy Walk
EVENT DATE: Sep 28, 2014
Hi there! My name is Sara Himburg. On March 1, 2012, my dad, Gordon “Papa” McKechnie was diagnosed with high grade Liposarcoma, a malignant tumor of the fat tissue. His tumor was retroperitoneal (the behind the abdomen) and near his psoas minor muscle, it was about the size of a Softball. We got the news of him having cancer on a Thursday, he got his port put in the next day, and then he started chemo the next Monday. We were stunned at how quickly things were moving and we didn’t know exactly what was happening. We began to research on the internet about what he had, and quickly found there wasn’t much information out there about Sarcoma and Liposarcoma. However, we did find the Wendy Walk.
The Wendy walk helps to fund research that is so desperately needed in the sarcoma world. Liposarcoma is a rare cancer, “In relation to other types of cancer, soft tissue sarcomas are relatively rare. Approximately 11,000 new cases of soft tissue sarcoma are diagnosed each year in the United States (ACS 2012) representing about 1% of all newly diagnosed human neoplasms. Liposarcoma itself constitutes about 9.8% to 18% of soft tissue sarcomas, its incidence second only to that of Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma (MFH). Being that Sarcoma’s and Liposarcoma are rare, they don’t get the research money that other more common cancers get.
I was 6 months pregnant when we got the news that my dad had cancer. I was hormonal, teary and scared that we were going to lose my dad and that my daughter would not meet her “Papa”. On July 4, 2012, our little girl Elizabeth Jewel Himburg, “Ella” was born. Her “Papa” was so happy to meet her! She was born about 2 weeks after his surgery to have his tumor removed. Before she was even born she has been a source of hope for him. Hope that he would be able to see her grow up…. Today, my dad has no evidence of disease. He had chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumor, intraoperative radiation, chemotheraphy again and then radiation. He is such an inspiration to me, our family and friends. He is tough as nails and such a sweet and caring person. With each scan, test and appointment we hope that he continues to stay cancer free, however, this is lifelong diagnosis. And we continue to hope that Papa is here with us to keep celebrating more of his and Ella’s birthdays.
I am run/walking my second half marathon, the Brooksie Way, on September 28, 2014. I am doing this run/walk to support my dad and also as a way to raise money for the Wendy Walk.
Please consider giving a donation in honor of Papa to show your support for him and others with this disease!