Dozens showed up for the walk around Silverview Park in Mounds View. Paper bags with faces of lost loved ones were scattered along the path that leads around the lake, family members came to pay respects and reminisce about those who’ve passed.
Jean Jones and her family have been participating in the “No Stomach for Cancer” walk for over a decade. The walk started 10 years ago, when Jean’s brother Tom was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
“He was the patriarch of the family, he was always there to help out,” said Jean. “I feel like my brother was the guinea pig, we had to lose him to save the others”
Everyone has the CDH1 gene, it helps create proteins that make up parts of our skin and insides. Those found with a faulty CDH-1 gene have a 50% chance of getting stomach cancer or in some cases breast cancer and can be passed down from parents.
This rare fault caused the many in the Jones family to get checked themselves. According to Jean, over 20 in the family have been diagnosed and 12 have had the procedure to get their stomachs removed.
Now the Jones family and others families like theirs have been raising awareness and funds for this type of cancer. Each year they hold a silent auction and also a bake sale to help raise money to donate to foundations that research stomach cancers.
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to us, we’re all open. We want to be an example of being stomach-less,” said Jean Jones.