A beginning for an end

Published 9:40 am Monday, July 4, 2011

Participants kick off the first Walk For a Cancer Free World outside the Hormel Institute Saturday. - Jason Schoonover/jason.schoonover@austindailyherald.com

First Institute walk seeks cure to cancer

The heat couldn’t stop local residents’ generosity. The Hormel Institute’s first annual “Walk For a Cancer Free World,” was a success, with more than 250 people walking the 5K path between the Hormel Institute and Austin’s Bandshell Park Saturday.

“We’re really thankful,” said Gail Dennison, the Institute’s public relations director.

People from all walks of life attended the event Saturday, with more than 200 pre-registering for the walk. Among those ready to hit the pavement was Karen Davidson, whose husband is battling cancer and whose mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Email newsletter signup

“We’re just looking for a cure,” Davidson said. “Hopefully things like this can make a cure come faster and make our quality of life improve a little.”

Davidson wasn’t the only one there for a family member. Dayoni Hash and her family walked for a relative in South Dakota.

“It’s for a good cause,” she said.

Many walkers agreed, as several people said they were walking to show support for the Institute.

Madellane Hicks enjoys a balloon before the start of the Walk For a Cancer Free World at the Hormel Institute Saturday afternoon. - Jason Schoonover/jason.schoonover@austindailyherald.com

“Austin is lucky to have a facility like this,” said Matt Cizik. “(We’re lucky) to be on the cutting edge of


The leader of the pack knew all about the Institute’s research. Dr. Yibin Deng and his three daughters were

the walk’s honorary leaders. Deng lost his wife, Dr. Yahong Lin, to cancer this past year.

“Your support is our success,” Deng told the crowd before the walk started. “Without your support, we have very little chance of success.”