Why I Run
In September 2015, I had the pleasure of meeting Luke Kellerman. I wish I would have never met him because I was an oncology nurse, so just by meeting me it meant that he had cancer.
Luke was very young when he was diagnosed – too young to even think about being affected by this horrible disease. He was a fighter and he had an attitude that he was going to beat this thing. Luke and I would chat every couple of weeks during treatment. We worked through the ups and the downs and I always made sure I was available to answer any questions he or his wife, Katie, had – even the one about mushrooms :)
Luke wasn’t very far into his diagnosis or treatment when he decided that he needed to do something for the community. He wasn’t just going to let this diagnosis claim him, he was going to claim it and do some good with it. Luke worked for the Denver Broncos and partnered with them to create the “Fight Like A Bronco” campaign where the Denver Broncos would not only recognize breast cancer, but would include all different types of cancers. This campaign would soon spread through the rest of the NFL and now each team within the NFL has the ability to shine light on whatever type of cancer they want. All thanks to Luke.
In October 2017, Luke was celebrated by the Denver Broncos for his efforts in the Fight Like A Bronco campaign and the awareness he brought to colorectal cancer. I was lucky enough to be at the game where he was recognized and presented him with a personalized Broncos jersey with the signatures of his entire oncology team as well as some key Broncos players. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the last time that I would ever see him.
On October 26, 2017, Luke passed away at the age of 34.
Before he died, he was interviewed by ESPN and told his story to the world: denverbroncos.com/video/espn-feature-luke-kellerman-20417403
Throughout your nursing career, you meet thousands of people. And, there’s always that handful that stick with you for one reason or another. From the moment I met Luke, I knew that he was going to be one of these people. I didn’t know why, but I just knew he would be someone I would never forget. He lives on through his legacy and the countless number of people that he touched, either knowingly or unknowingly.
On June 22, 2019, I am participating in the Denver Undy RunWalk at City Park!
Please support my involvement in the Undy RunWalk with a tax-deductible donation. Your support will help us prevent colorectal cancer and save lives.
Or even better, join the team by clicking the "Join Our Team" button!