South Mississippi Father Walks for a Cure

A South Mississippi man is on a mission.

If you drove down Highway 90 Sunday, chances are you saw Mike Marston either walking or running along the beach.

His journey began around midnight at Biloxi's Palace Casino and led him to Henderson Point in Pass Christian, ultimately ending Sunday afternon at the Palace Casino.

But Marston wasn't working out for his own health--it was for the health of others.

Not even the South Mississippi heat could slow down Mike Marston.

His feet might have been pounding the pavement, but his heart and mind were somewhere else--with his little girl Sarah who lost her battle with brain cancer when she was five years old.

"The more tired I get, the more emotional I get. I think about her a lot. I love her still, as much as a parent can love their child. I miss her as much I miss the air," Marston said.

This is the fifth Father's Day Marston has spent without his little girl.

But this Walk for a Cure is one way he keeps her memory alive.

"I will either fight for pediatric cancer research for the rest of my life or until there's a cure, and I do believe with all my heart that there is a research agenda on the table that will lead to a cure in our lifetime. So, I think that the more people push the issue, the more people will seek funding for it, the more it will happen," Marston said.

During the day, more than a dozen people signed a petition calling for more childhood cancer research. People from as far away as Florida joined in the cause.

"My daughter was born premature, so I saw a lot of children in the hospital who had cancer while the duration of staying there. It's just a real sad situation," said Debbie Marston, a Floridian who was in town to visit her sister.

Marston plans to personally deliver the petition to Capitol Hill this fall. Meanwhile, he continues to pray for a cure so other parents will be spared the pain he's carried all these years.

Hank 96.7 sponsored the walk.