By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — EAST SHELBY — The community of local cancer patients who’ve benefited from the Knights Kaderli Memorial Fund’s assistance has grown over 24 years, creating a tradition of love in Orleans County.
The traditions extend to fundraising as well. The first Saturday of October means that it’s time for hundreds of the funds beneficiaries and benefactors will put their feet to work at the fund’s 24th Annual Walk/Run.
The walk/run, hosted at the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company, 5021 E. Shelby Road, will begin at 11 a.m., with registration at 10 a.m. Racers and walkers, along with those coming just for lunch, raffles and auctions; will leave knowing they’ve lend a hand to those in need.
“We’ve helped our patients with everything from hosptial co-pays, to their transportation so they can come home before they pass away,” said Melissa Knights Bertrand, a member of the memorial fund’s board. “People undergoing cancer treatment come to us with financial need ... we basically never turn anyone away.”
The event follows the long-term collaboration of earlier efforts of Sue Kaderli’s family, which started the memorial walk in 1989; and Richard Knights’s family, which started a memorial fund in 1988. The Knight Kaderli Memorial Fund has raised more than $24,000 this year to assist financially burdened cancer patients in Orleans County.
“To know these efforts have snowballed is a beautiful thing for both families, it’s the most rewarding and gratifying thing we do,” Bertrand said. “That something that came from losing a family member has grown to being able to do this ... both my father and the Sue kaderli’s mother would be blown away.”
Since the identities of those assisted by the fund are kept confidential, the walk is also a chance for the community that has grown around the fund to share their connections.
“We just talk to people on the phone and mail them a check ... to see them and see the impact this has had on their life is so moving,” Bertrand said. “The best thing is that people come back healthy.”
And connect with the families of those who’ve passed away.
“That’s why we do it,” Bertrand said.
For more information, visit knightskaderli.com or call 798-2685.