BEEKMANTOWN - When Randy Duprey succumbed to scleroderma nearly two years ago, his wife, Kate, wanted to make sure he wouldn't be forgotten. That's why she's continued to organize the annual Scleroderma Walk in Memory of Randy Duprey.
The event - which also raises awareness of scleroderma and money for The Scleroderma Foundation to research and find a cure for the autoimmune disease - is one that means a lot to Duprey, she said.
"Every year, this time of year brings so much emotion back for me," said Duprey, who lost her husband in January 2009 and held the first walk in his honor just months later. "That is what drives me to make this walk so special and honorable to my husband."
Duprey said she prepares all year for the event which, in the end, is one of her favorite days.
"I look forward to it so much for [their son] Alek, for Randy's family, and for all the people who are fighting with this disease," she said.
Duprey said she also has a concern her late husband's condition could be genetic and passed down to their 3-year-old son. Though doctors tell her the possibility of Alek developing scleroderma is one in 100, it's still too frightening a statistic to think about, she said.
"It scares me to death to think of reliving this nightmare ... if I have to, I want to know I did everything in my power to find a cure," said Duprey, who noted two other individuals in Clinton County alone lost their battles with scleroderma in the past year.
This year's Scleroderma Walk in Memory of Randy Duprey will be held this Sunday,June 12, at the Beekmantown Recreation Park on Spellman Road beginning with registration at 9 a.m. The five-kilometer walk/run will begin at approximately 10:15 a.m. Participants may choose to complete the full course or stop at one-mile or two-mile checkpoints along the way.
The event will include a bake sale, silent auction, and 50/50 drawing, as well as bounce houses and face painting for children. Live music and food sales will also help round out the event.
Duprey said she's looking forward to seeing family, friends and supporters of a cure for scleroderma to once again turn out in great numbers. Regardless of how many participate, however, Duprey said she is grateful for the support she and her late husband have received from the community.
"My husband's goal was to pay it forward to a community that helped him and his family during a very difficult time in our lives. This community allows me to fulfill that mission each year," she said, adding the money raised stays local to help those with scleroderma. "That I will forever be grateful for."
For more information about the walk, contact Duprey via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.