Walking to stomp on cancer: ‘UCT Miracle Walkers’

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By: Ben Kaplan
February 17, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- We're less than three months away! On Saturday, May 13th, the fight against cancer hits the track at Leon High School for the Leon/Havana ‘Relay for Life’ event.

Every team walking wants the same thing, to beat the disease. For 15 years, the team from United Church in Tallahassee has kept coming back, and they won't stop until cancer has given up.

Meet Janie Curtis, code name: Secret Weapon. At 16 years old she looks like your typical teen. But she's a ten year relay vet, and on that track, nothing stops her.

"Two years ago, this one, her parents were getting married the day after and she still walked until two in the morning," teammate Abby Queale says.

And, talk about heart. Current team captain Kathy Heinz is back at it, even after a heart transplant just seven months ago.

"You're looking at my support system here. They are awesome, the way I say it is they carried me. They carried me for months," Heinz says.

If you're wondering why the UCT Miracle Walkers let nothing stop them in the fight against cancer, they'll ‘all’ tell you.

"We continue to walk because cancer continues to suck," the team says as one.

They'll also tell you team members like Anne Leggoe and Julie Steward are the true 'Miracles', two of several cancer survivors on the team.

"I finally realize I help put a face to it, I help realize it's more people than you know," Steward says.

In Anne's case, it's a disease she beat three times.

"One of the things I learned a long time ago is happiness is a choice, so I chose to find the happiness in the bad feelings and since so many in my family has had cancer and kicked it, I knew I would get cancer and I knew when I did, I'd kick it, and I did and they did," Leggoe says.

The Miracle Walkers also do a whole lot of collecting, led by Queale. The black shirt means she raised $1,000 all on her own.

"This is actually my second shirt. My goal is to get a third," Queale remarks.

Since 2002, all told, UCT estimates they've raised nearly $100,000, and year after year are one of the top earning teams.

"Are you kidding? We're a small church, come on people who belong to 3,000 people churches, get on the stick, give," Leggoe says.

But they'll have to find their own 'Secret Weapon'. The Miracle Walkers need their own, since they plan to keep walking. Because cancer, well, you know the rest.

For more information about Relay for Life, CLICK HERE.

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