Teacher/Cancer Patient Plans Walk To Washington, D.C.

Okeeheelee Middle School science teacher Brian Thomas, a founding member of the Road Warriors long-distance running team, has gained fame for running across multiple states to raise funds to cure life-threatening diseases for others.

Last year, Thomas was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma and given only a few months to live. After enduring invasive surgery, grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatment, he is now preparing to walk the 991 miles to Washington, D.C. over a two-week period starting June 7, accompanied by Jean Morris, CEO of Hugs & Kisses, a nonprofit that offers financial assistance to cancer patients.

“My purpose is to highlight the stresses that cancer patients confront daily, fighting for their lives but also fighting to stay afloat financially,” he said. “I have a beautiful daughter who I want to see graduate from school, walk her down the aisle when she gets married, and be there when she has my first grandchild.”

Before the long-distance walk, the Okeeheelee Middle School PTSA is sponsoring the second annual Brian Thomas 5K/Kids Mile Paint Race & Benefit on Saturday, May 10. Activities are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school. Runners check-in is from 6 to 7 a.m., with the Kids Mile starting at 7:15 a.m. and the 5K at 7:35 a.m. There will be music, games, food trucks, crafts, baked goods and more. For details about the benefit, contact gaolo.moreira@palmbeachschools.org.

For more about the walk to Washington, D.C., contact Thomas at (561) 819-9471 or visit www.brianthomascancerbeatdown.com.