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Hello, my name is Evan Walsh -

Creator of the Challenge.

Having battled cancer myself (story below), I found the most comfort I had came through music. It provided the opportunity to focus on something other than cancer and learning new songs was fun and exciting for me - something that I hadn't felt since being diagnosed. It's for this reason I came up with the Challenge. I am hopeful that this challenge will not only raise money and awareness for a cause I deeply believe in but most importantly, it may bring a little joy to those people and families who are fighting this disease. 

My Story:
2 years ago I was diagnosed with stage 3, muscle-invasive, Bladder Cancer. I went through 6 weeks of intensive chemotherapy and on April 28th, 2017, I went under the knife to have a radical cystectomy, with Neo-Bladder replacement. This a procedure where they removed my bladder, my prostate, and 48 lymph nodes before rebuilding a new bladder using a section of my small intestines. To say my family and I were scared is an understatement and obviously one of the things you look for when you are first diagnosed - is answers. You spend so much of your day feeling hopeless - wondering if you're going to live, wondering what the chemo will be like, wondering how the surgery will be and most importantly - what will life be like after surgery. But thanks to my relationship with the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, everything started falling into place. 

Chemo Guitar.jpg
Playing the guitar a friend bought me and learning new songs was one of the very few highlights during my battle with cancer and chemotherapy.

The most important call I made was to Lorraine Egan the former CEO of the DRCRF who took the time out of her busy day to call me and offer any help she could and provide me with information and answers I was so desperately seeking. She researched my medical facility, she researched my surgeon she gave me names of other top-notch surgeons in Boston who I could speak with if I wanted a second opinion. She gave me the name of a survivor who spent hours with me on the phone talking about the procedure on what to expect post-surgery. And most importantly - she listened. Lorraine gave me hope that the road ahead was not a death sentence which is exactly what the scientists at Damon Runyon provide, as they search for a cure for ALL cancers. The hope they provide comes through revolutionary advances in medical and technology research through their fellows (MD's and scientists), who believe so deeply in what they are doing, that it is the driving force in their life to find a cure. 

Pre Surgery Photo.jpg
Trying to stay positive for my family in pre-op. Nothing is worse than seeing the people you love so much, hurting so deeply inside. I always tried to put on a happy face no matter how dark things were.
A 42 pound, 46" Striper I caught 3 months removed from surgery. One of the highlights of my life.
Ride Walk Photo - You Did It.jpg

3 years ago I was approached by Meghan Raveis to work with an incredible team for our Ride + Walk event, literally as cancer was growing inside me. 2 years ago I continued those efforts just 5 months removed from surgery. 
This year, I stand before you CANCER FREE asking you to help me provide hope to those that don't (yet) have a cure.

On Sunday, September 29th I will be participating in the 5th Raveis Ride + Walk event. This is a fundraising event in which 100% of all donations go to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Damon Runyon provides grants to the nation's emerging cancer researchers with the boldest and most daring ideas to find a cure for cancer. Please consider making a donation on my page. Damon Runyon is very unique in that they promise that 100% of the money they received will go directly to funding cancer research. As of result of the previous three years of this event, the William Raveis Charitable Fund has donated over $2 million dollars to this organization. Thank you for your support.

You Did It.jpg
As I approached the finish line I couldn't help but get emotional after all my family and I had been through. Seeing this banner was so meaningful.
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