PORTLAND – Ken Janson, the president of Nimlok Maine, and a fundraising volunteer for Mary’s Walk and the Maine Cancer Foundation for nearly two decades never envisioned himself as an author, but after battling cancer for more than two years, he decided to tell his story. His new book, “Charting a Course Against Cancer,” chronicles his journey, the fundraising performed by Mary’s Walk, with its many volunteers and supporters, and the story also pays homage to the doctors, nurses, and technicians who confront cancer daily.
Ken and Laurie Janson participated in the first Mary’s Walk in 1999, and soon became volunteers in the grassroots fundraising effort. The event was founded by Kennebunk attorney Gene Libby as a tribute to his wife and Saco native, Mary Kerry Libby, after she succumbed to Burkitt’s Lymphoma in 1997. The annual event quickly became a signature community effort drawing more than 2,000 people annually to the streets where Mary once walked. Today, after two decades of hard work and steady dedication, the event and its companion, the Kerrymen 5K, have raised more than $3.25 million for the Maine Cancer Foundation.
A 2016 diagnosis of esophageal cancer put a new spin on life for Ken and his family, and after years of volunteerism in support of those battling cancer, there was a new challenge looming on the horizon.
“In this riveting memoir, Ken describes both the medical and emotional aspects of the difficult journey from cancer diagnosis through treatment, all while continuing his efforts for Mary’s Walk, focusing not just on his own illness and recovery, but on helping all cancer patient,” said Dr. Harvey Mamon, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School.
A small business owner, Ken Janson has been designing and selling trade show exhibits for clients since 1990 at his business, Nimlok Maine, in Scarborough. A Maine native, Ken still resides in Saco, Maine, with his wife, Laurie, where they enjoy spending time with their four grown children, two grandchildren, and extended family.
“The cancer battle that I fought, that Laurie and I fought, is not unlike what thousands of other cancer patients and their loved ones have been through or are enduring right now,” Janson said.
“I am sharing my story to not only chronicle the reality of facing cancer but also to document the treatment and care that is delivered on a daily basis in hospitals and cancer centers all over the world.”
See you on the roads and stay tuned – as always, if I think it’s interesting, I’ll write about it.
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