Although the 3rd Annual Alpha-1 Hero Walk, to raise awareness and funds to cure Alpha-1, was minus one very important participant this year, her spirit was there in the many who love her.
This year’s event took place at Deep Run Park in Richmond, Va., on Saturday, April 20, just 10 days after the passing of Lisa Carroll, an enthusiastic participant, fundraiser and member of the Alpha-1 Warriors team.
“She had been helping out for the past two years,” said event organizer Pam VanScoy. “The first year, she came in a wheelchair, so she couldn’t walk. But she was so happy she could be there with us.”
The following year, Carroll, 45, received a double lung transplant, and despite complications, she was able to complete the walk with her fellow heroes.
Just weeks before she died on April 10, Carroll had been planning a fundraiser for the walk.
“She was so excited,” VanScoy said. “She was determined to walk again even though she was recently in the hospital with rejection. … I (had) just been praying for a miraculous recovery for her. She was an amazing lady.”
Among the 100 or so people who attended, many walked in honor of Carroll – including her family.
“Her daughter said to me, ‘We’re still coming. Mom will be walking with us,’ ” VanScoy said. “It’s so emotional. I think it’s really touching.”
VanScoy learned about Alpha-1 when first one son, then another was diagnosed with the disease. Both are doing well. She says that before starting the Hero Walk, she had done breast cancer walks.
“I thought it was a great way to get awareness out,” she said. “I talked about it for 10 years and finally got around to doing it three years ago!”
In a poignant closure, a memorial for Carroll was held the day after the walk, on Sunday, April 21, at Caledon State Park in King George, Va.
For more information on the 3rd Annual Alpha-1 5k Hero Walk, visit herowalk2013.kintera.org.