Martha John Shinar (photo: John Shinar)
NORTH OAKS, Minn. -- This story starts more than 30 years ago when John Shinar met Martha at Western Michigan University. He took one look at the tall, blonde-beauty, and from that moment, he was hooked.
"She was the kind of person that when she walked into a room it just lit up. I mean she just had this effervescence about her," says John.
It was around their 10th anniversary that Martha was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a double-mastectomy and chemotherapy and beat the disease.
"We never had any regrets looking back and that's because it's how she wanted to live our lives, and it was amazing," he says.
John and Martha had 30 wonderful years together, two beautiful children, and one bond that clearly doesn't know the meaning of "until death do us part".
It was June of 2012 that the cancer finally took Martha from John. He searched for a way to remember her, to honor her, to keep her with him. The two had done many Race for the Cure events, so John set his sights on the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
John didn't just sign up for one Susan G. Komen 3-day walk, he signed up for all 14 of them. His journey started in San Francisco and will soon end in San Diego. Along the way he's traveled to places like Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle and Atlanta. He's made new life-long friends and raised more than $35,000 for breast cancer research.
When it's all said and done, John will have walked 840 miles, yet he won't be one step closer to letting go the love of his life.
"For those three days, they help bring my wife back to me, so honest to God, I would do them every weekend if you gave me the opportunity," says John.
If you'd like to help John raise money for breast cancer research, you can go to his website. He leaves this Thursday for the next 3-Day event in Tampa, Florida.
John says he couldn't have done this without the support of his employer, 3M. He says they've backed him every step of the way, making it possible for him to accomplish this goal.
For more on the Susan G. Komen Walks, go to this website.