On June 15, 2018, Rafael Martin, a Special Education Teacher at Cypress Creek High School and a Cancer Survivor, will march 26.2 miles from a Subway in Davenport to Universal City Walk in Orlando. He will be finishing a 50 mile march he started on Memorial Day. He attempted to walk from the Lakeland Regional Health Hollis Cancer Center to Orlando on that day, but almost halfway through he was overcome from fatigue due to his cancer treatments and he fainted. After seeing Rafael’s story his fellow educators from his school, family and friends reached out to him and offered to walk with him the rest of the way so he could finish his march.
He will begin the march from the Subway at 45489 Hwy 27 Davenport, FL 33897 at 7am and finish the walk at Universal City Walk around 6 pm. He is giving himself plenty of time to rest and hydrate on the way, and this time he will be walking with family and friends to make sure he makes it.
“I feel like I let a lot of people down when I couldn’t finish the walk on Memorial Day,” Rafael said. “However, I was overwhelmed with all of the support I received from people who saw my story and wanted to help. My main message is that cancer in America is an epidemic, and our government is not treating it that way. It has become so common that everyone knows someone with cancer or they have cancer. This has to stop.”
He is walking in order to raise donations for the center and to raise awareness about the cancer epidemic in America. He is currently receiving treatment at the Lakeland Regional Health Hollis Cancer Center for prostate cancer, where he has been a patient since March 2014.
According to the American Cancer Society, there were 1,688,780 new cases of cancer in America in and 600,920 Americans died from cancer in 2017. Across the world an estimated 7.6 million people die from cancer every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely. Rafael Martin believes that this number is far too high.
The donations will go directly to the Lakeland Regional Health Hollis Cancer Center where he is currently receiving treatment. He is working directly with the center and they support his efforts. The funds will be used to help patients at the center receives the treatments they need in order to survive cancer. Rafael Martin is a Survivor, and he wants to help all of the other Survivors everywhere who fight Cancer every day.
Rafael has made previous walks and runs to raise donations and awareness of the cancer epidemic. In 2014 he made a 250 mile run/walk to Tallahassee. Please see the link below for the story of that journey: http://www.wtsp.com/mobile/article/news/local/a-man-on-a-mission-to-fight-cancer/67-300417787
His story was featured on the local NBC affiliate:
A Go Fund Me account has been created to help Rafael raise donations for his 50 mile Memorial Day Walk. Donations can be made to him directly by logging into his account at:
Donations can also be mailed directly to Rafael at the following address:
5850 Cypress Gardens Blvd. #103
Winter Haven, FL 33884