teen who lived five years of his childhood with his mother's diagnosis of a brain tumor, and the next five years carrying on without her, encourages others to join a June 3 "Walk On Sunshine" fundraiser for a cure.
High school senior Joe Esstman, 18, said he was inspired carrying on his mother's legacy with "Walk On Sunshine." Suzy Esstman launched the fundraiser in 2005 to bring awareness to inoperable brain tumors and raise funds for research and cure.
She died in 2007 when Joe was 13. According to a video on the "Walk On Sunshine" website, Joe described what he learned.
"I just want people to know there are so many challenges in life, and sometimes there are things you can't control," Joe Esstman said. "Just be happy overall, and get through the tough stuff. See that there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is something happy just around the corner, something fun to do. You have to keep yourself open, and aware."
Joe said his upbeat approach to living was something that "rubbed off" on him from his mother. Suzy Esstman graduated from Parkway North High School.
The walk is Sunday, June 3 in Queeny Park in Ballwin, 550 Weidman Road. Registration begins at 9:30am and the walk begins at 10am.
At the "Walk On Sunshine" website, you can register online or print out a form to mail in.
The funding raised directly supports the Neuro-oncology Department of Hadassah Medical Organization, with close ties to Washington University and Saint Louis University.
The annual "Walk On Sunshine" event is in conjunction with the St. Louis Chapter Hadassah, 745 Craig Rd., Ste 102, St. Louis 63141 and phone 314-991-0434.