Walker John was born 19AUG97 to a proud mom and dad. He was a huge sports fanatic. Walker’s dream was to play football under the tutelage of his father, who coached for the Black Knights high school football team out of Farmington MO. Walker lived on the football field. Shortly after he was born, he was seen being carried around by his proud papa at football games while he was coaching. Walker was a favorite of the many that came and went through the Black Knight system. You could ask him about any player that played there and more than likely he would be able to tell you how good or not good that player was.
When Walker was 12, thing began to change with Walker. The parents noticed that he just wasn’t himself. He was overly fatigued and just not his happy go lucky self. But he pressed on. During Jr. High football camp, Walker was suffering. So the parents got him to the doctor and on 28JUL10 the call came, and those dreaded words were uttered that no parent wants to hear. Walker’s diagnosis was Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. 85% of his body was stricken with the cancer before the family found out.
Walker remained strong throughout it all. He endured many attempts to rid his body of this horrible disease. His sister Zoe was brave and caring enough to help save his life, as she was a bone marrow donor to Walker. But, unfortunately, all the test, and all the treatments were unsuccessful. On 03NOV11 Walker left this life to go meet his creator, He never got to play football for his dad, but throughout his fight he showed the fight of a true Black Knight. He was the rock, an inspiration to his family, to his school, and to his hometown.
Walker gained his wings at the age of 14. In the midst of his battle, he brought together an idea that his family started after he passed. Through the passing of Walker, the Walker Johns Childhood Cancer Foundation was created. Directed and ran by his family and friends, they wanted to help others that suffered from childhood cancer. The family, feeling touched, wanted to return the favor, and the gratitude that everyone bestowed upon them during Walker’s battle. And in 2012, they opened the doors and have been off and running, all in memory of Walker John. The foundation helps families with expenses like gas cards, meals, and such. They host 5k’s, 10k’s, run/walk/cycle events. Every penny they receive from the events goes back to the families that are dealing with childhood cancer.
Acts of kindness are something that seems to be a repeated theme in the childhood cancer “world”. We have seen it time and time again with the hero’s and angel’s that we have ridden in honor of. It’s amazing how people come together to help, and they don’t even know the person. Walker’s mom Kelly cited that reason for wanting to open the foundation. She was wowed by all the support they received during Walker’s battle, that she was called to return the favor.
Walker John is my Angel of the day. Walker was a hero that turned angel on 03NOV11. Walker showed the toughness and the strength of a warrior. By the time he went to the doctor, 85% of his body was consumed by Leukemia. You or I would probably be at the doctor at 1%. He fought and clawed throughout it all and I am honored to ride in memory of this great young man. Today I will ride as a Black Knight in honor of Walker John, our angel of this ride on 06MAY15. And in honor of his family I leave you with a quote from his mother Kelly:
“He is my KNIGHT, who fought with all of his MIGHT.”
We lost our KNIGHT on November 3, 2011.
You can see more about Walker John and the Walker John Childhood Cancer Foundation at https://www.facebook.com/WalkerJohnsChildhoodCancerFoundation