Jim Hickey couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate time to walk through Boonville. A former Marine, he was on a mission. He was walking against cancer.
Hickey left Kansas City on February 15 which was National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. His goal on this walk is St. Louis, where three-year-old Adleigh is fighting her battle against DIPG. A death sentence, DIPG is a brain cancer that is inoperable and has no cure. Little to no medical advancement has been made against this killer as doctors are still using the same treatment they used 30 years ago. The survival rate is one percent.
This is Hickey’s second walk for Childhood Cancer Awareness in the last six months. His first walk was for Lydia, a six-year-old in St. Louis. Hickey took a train from New York to St. Louis where he met Lydia and her family, and then took a train to Chicago. Leaving Wrigley Field in mid-September 2017, Hickey arrived at Busch Stadium on November 11. “Lydia is seven now,” Hickey happily reported.
His routine on this trip is to walk every other day and spend time talking to people and the media about childhood cancer. He accepts no donations, referring everyone to the American Cancer Society.
“I don’t accept any donations,” he said. “My mission is awareness.”
Hickey walked into Boonville Monday evening the 16th and stayed at Hazel’s Boonslick Guest House. He gave an interview to the BDN over dinner and talked passionately about the need to cure cancer.
“I lost my father to cancer, and my brother is a cancer survivor.”
On Wednesday, Hickey was able to take a tour of historic Boonville saying, “If you only had an ocean, I’d move here.”
But his biggest thrill was seeing the Central Missouri Cancer Memorial Park. Standing in front of one bench which read, ‘In honor of all patients and families who have fought the battle against cancer,’ he said, “This says it all.”
Hickey walked across the Missouri River Bridge about 3:00 p.m. Wednesday on his way to Midway, his next stop on his Childhood Cancer Awareness mission.