|Posted by Anne Siren on September 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM|
Oakland Park – Mike Fitzpatrick has done plenty of walks to raise money and awareness to fight against breast cancer, but never one that lasted 100 miles.
Today starting at Big Dog Station in Oakland Park, Fitzpatrick, an Oakland Park resident, will be walking to Jupiter – a 100-mile journey spanning three or four days – and back again with the goal of raising about $2,500 for the American Cancer Society in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
“It’s all about support for breast cancer. This is the longest [walk] by far and I’ve been training for a good part of eight months. I’ve walked 20 miles twice,” said Fitzpatrick, who will mostly travel along A1A and Federal Highway. “I’m an avid walker and I think it’s a health benefit and maybe it will motivate other people to get out and walk.”
Helping Fitzpatrick in his walk for breast cancer is Gabriel Bartice and the “Party Patrol” which will ride ahead of Fitzpatrick soliciting donations along the way.
“The proceeds are going to go 100 percent straight to breast cancer. I think anybody will be impressed with anyone who can walk a hundred miles,” said Bartice, who volunteered with Fitzpatrick as a board member for the American Cancer Society’s Oakland Park Relay for Life, which occurred in April.
“I am a cancer survivor myself. I had a rare form of pancreatic cancer. It affects one in two million and I was the one,” said Fitzpatrick, who learned about the full ramifications of his disease in an unusual way.
“The doctor wrote on a cocktail napkin ‘it’s like changing your oil. You got to take this out, that out. The only thing is you can’t put anything back.’ I guess that cocktail napkin was the only thing he had in front of him,” said Fitzpatrick, who lost half his stomach, half his small intestine and half his pancreas during the 13-hour surgical procedure that ultimately saved his life.
“I told them ‘don’t touch the liver,’” he joked.
Bartice has also been touched by cancer but not as closely as Fitzpatrick.
“My grandmother suffered from breast cancer and thank god she’s a survivor,” said Bartice, who mails his grandmother each shirt for each breast cancer walk he does “just to let her know that someone’s walking for her.”
And on Saturday, Oct. 6 those wishing to donate further to the cause of fighting breast cancer can join Fitzpatrick and Batrice at a fundraiser at American Legion Post 222, 4250 NE 5 Ave., Oakland Park, from 6 to 10 p.m. Along with the American Cancer Society, the event benefits Feeding America, which provides food assistance to needy individuals and families.
The $20 entrance buys a night of live entertainment by The Ink Spots Generations and the Shambala Band and includes a pasta meal.
For each person who attends, Ford will donate 40 meals to Feed America. To donate to Fitzpatrick’s walk or for more information about the charity event, call 954-708-3765.