Cancer awareness walk to take place Friday
Larry Sprouse’s children call him “sick” or “tired.”
At ages nine, five and four, they are too young to understand Sprouse has had 27 surgeries since being diagnosed with cancer.
Sprouse, 37, was diagnosed with basal cell cancer, a type of skin cancer, about 10 years ago.
“We’re wondering how they will react on Friday,” Sprouse said. He will be speaking at “Into the Light 2012” cancer awareness walking event at 7 p.m. Friday at Island Park, 331 N. Main Street. The event will run from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.
The event will include a survivors candle light celebration and walk at 7 p.m., a speech by Central Michigan University President George Ross, a silent auction, music and games.
“It will be different this year,” Sprouse said, referring to previous years where the event lasted all night.
Last year, more than 1,000 participated in the event, raising more than $30,000 for Cancer Services of Isabella County, said Shary Gaunt, board member of Community Cancer Services of Isabella County.
“We usually have hundreds of people, but it’s impossible to tell because it’s free to the public,” she said.
Sprouse doesn’t have insurance, so one of his biggest concerns when he got sick was how he was going to afford his treatments and transportation.
The Community Cancer Services and the Pardee Cancer Fund gave him the hope and encouragement Sprouse needed through this struggle, he said.
The Pardee Cancer Fund also helped Sprouse with transportation, reimbursements on gas and set up an account for him at the Mission Pharmacy, making Sprouse’s illness less financially burdensome on his family.
“They flew my father and sister from New York to the Ann Arbor hospital when I was there,” he said.
The cancer awareness walk brings the community together every year to raise awareness about cancer, Sprouse said. All of the funding from the event goes directly to cancer patients in Isabella County.
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