Walk-a-thon to remember Ray City man - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Walk-a-thon to remember Ray City man

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June 18, 2008

Ray City - A Ray City woman has found a way to honor her deceased father while raising money to stamp out the disease that took his life.

She says a walk-a-thon is a great way to remember the active spirit of her dad and give the community a reason to celebrate together.

Craig Ballew wasn't just Nikki's father, he was her role model.

"My dad pretty much raised me because my mom was in the military and he brought me up to be the person that I am today," she says.

A mentor who was taken from her too soon. In 2003 he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. He died in 2004, when Nikki was just 17.

"Nikki's love for her daddy is so great that she doesn't want his memory to die but she wants his memory live on," say Nikki's mom JoAnn.

To do that, she's planned a walk-a-thon in Ray City. A small way to show that he may be gone, but he's definitely not forgotten.

"A walk-a-thon is meeting people and talking to people and that's two of the biggest things Craig loved to do," JoAnn says.

"I know this will be a good way to honor his legacy and carry on his memory," Nikki adds.

And raise money for the National Brain tumor foundation.  "We can't stamp out cancer but we can further the research on tumors that cause cancer," JoAnn says.

Hoping to help future generations of mentors and fathers win their battle with cancer.

The Walk-a-thon begins 8:00 Saturday morning with breakfast.

It will take place at the Senior Citizens Center in Ray City.