“When I was young,” recalled Rob Shinar, “my mother changed hairstyles often. As I child, I didn’t really know anything had been wrong until much later.” Rob is accompanying his father and sister today on Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day, a 60-mile journey to raise funds to help end breast cancer. “I thought everything was fine until I got a call at work. My dad called. Her breast cancer had returned 20 years later and was in her bones and lungs.” Rob and his sister Ally joined their father, John, today as he is walking in the Twin Cities. John has dedicated himself to walking all 14 events this year in honor of his wife, Martha, and to help find a cure for the cancer that took his wife.
On Day 1, the route here in the Twin Cities wraps around Lake of the Isles, and John, Ally, and Rob, along with other family and friends stopped at Pit Stop 2, gathered a bouquet of pink flowers that had been dropped off previously, and walked near the route to honor their wife and mother at Lakewood Cemetery. “Martha and I met in college in Michigan,” John responded when I asked him about her. “She was beautiful and she didn’t think so. You know the type?” John smiled. I knew. You can easily get a sense of who people are by how others talk about them. When I listened to John talk about Martha, I knew exactly who she was and how she lived. “Ally and Rob. Look at them. They’re just the same. There is a lot of Martha in them.”
The Twin Cities are hot today, and John and his two children placed the pink flowers in the shade of Martha’s memorial and embraced. It was a special stop for a wonderful woman. The three spent some time together at the site and then made their way back to the route. “I walk because everyone deserves a lifetime,” says John. “I will walk, I will run, I will ride. I will not rest until a cure has been found.”