Each year, in July, tallies are made of the number of miles walked by each member of the Michigan Memorial Park Walking Club in Flat Rock, MI. This year, the top three walkers of the group were Sharon Labelle-Dzierwa, Ron D and Bill E who all unanimously agreed to choose BCAN as the “charity of choice” for the $1,800.00 donation from the Michigan Memorial Park. That is, one dollar for each mile walked in honor of Sharon’s sister, bladder cancer survivor, Patty Dzierwa and all those affected by the disease.
Pat Bonmansour, a local BCAN volunteer, accepted the check from Kelly Dwyer the President and owner of the park, on behalf of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network at the recognition ceremony. The intimate gathering had about 10 attendees including Patty. In a twist of serendipity, Pat and Patti were excited to have finally met in person after having previously met over the phone almost a year ago through BCAN’s Volunteer matching program. According to Patty, “Her (Pat’s) help, and compassion to help others with her experience is tremendous.”
At the ceremony, Pat briefly shared her involvement with BCAN, its history, advocacy, and research support. She also spoke about her own bladder cancer diagnosis and association with BCAN as a volunteer. “I was proud and honored to represent BCAN and hope; as a result, that we have more people out there spreading the word and willing to support us,” said Pat of her participation in the ceremony.
Michigan Memorial’s Walking Club has met faithfully for the last three years and has had a substantial impact on the community. With 166 members, 8, 570 miles have been walked this year alone supporting charities such as the Disabled Veterans of America and the Piquette Organization, which helps homeless Veterans in Detroit. The walkers of Michigan Memorial Walking Club can be sure that BCAN will reach out to them prior to our Annual Walks for Bladder Cancer in May!