BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On a mobile device? Click here to see the slideshow of the cancer walk.
Lunchtime looked quite different Monday at the Southern University School of Nursing.
As hundreds of students spilled from classes into the lobby of the nursing building, they lined up outside for the second annual Cancer Awareness Walk. Sponsors included the faculty at SUSON and the student nursing group.
The walk returned after a very successful first year following the death for a beloved and outstanding teacher who died of breast cancer. Kimberly McCoy was known and loved by just about everyone.
"She had breast cancer and survived it one time before," said senior nursing student Steven Jackson, Jr. remembering McCoy. "I know the second time around, she got very ill, but she was still teaching! She was still working. She was still a joy."
Shirts from the first year's walk called McCoy "The Cardiac Queen." That's because her class on cardiac was mandatory for every student.
"She gave a cardiac lecture that was out of this world," Jackson said. He added that even though she was receiving chemotherapy, McCoy was energetic and a bright spirit.
"She was our S-and-A advisor and was 100 percent a student advocate," Jackson continued. "She definitely put her best foot forward."
He remembered that when she had organized a previous cancer walk, they raised $1,000.
I can't tell you how thrilling it was to simply walk from the school of nursing to the student union and see the hundreds of students participating. The line snaked around corners and stretched a block or two.
Up near the front, McCoy's relatives were in the lead. Her two sister-in-laws, Lisi Briggs and Sandra Stove, and her brother-in-law Ben Stove were happy to be there and said Kimberly's husband could not make it but would insist on seeing lots of pictures.
When the walk was over, students headed back to the nursing school where Coca-Cola and Raisin' Cane's on Plank Road donated free chicken fingers, fries and drinks.
The money was not tied to the food or participation, but instead, organizers simply asked for donations. Last year, they raised $500 to give to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. This year, they are still collecting, so they don't have a total. However, because participation was double last year's numbers, they are hoping to raise even more money this year.
Jackson hopes the nursing school will continue the walk in future years.
"If I have anything to do with it. I may be graduated, but I will make sure it happens. I hope it keeps going strong," Jackson said.