Last year, Rob Emrich, 24, lost a cousin to a malignant brain tumor. This was a double blow for Rob, who also lost his sister, Keren, to cancer. More aware than most of the way this disease ravages the lives of both young and old – and their families – Rob decided to take action. Together with his friends from Shaker Heights High School, he has founded the Road of Life organization, a charity that plans to take to the road – on foot – in its mission to raise funds for cancer research and education and highlight the importance of fitness.
This month, in sync with Ohio’s Bicentennial, Rob will walk the 312 miles from downtown Cincinnati to Cleveland using a combination of bicycle paths and quieter roads. The walk, the first step in a program that may be taken to a national and even international level, is one of many initiatives the group’s founders want to accomplish.
As well as demonstrating the role fitness plays in health, the group is participating in school and college health fairs throughout the state featuring multimedia presentations on cancer facts and research. Rob will appear at each of the health fairs and will make appearances of other events, such as city festivals, along his route.
Next year, Rob hopes to take on a longer walk – the Pan-American Highway, which stretches from Alaska to Argentina – following in the footsteps of Briton George Meegan, who completed the route in the 1970′s. The group is working with Ohio State University’s Center for Latin American Studies developing a web curriculum that will help get its anti-cancer message to a wider audience.
Right now though, the friends’ goal is to raise funds for the first 312 mile walk; they aim to raise $100 per mile by October 1. For more information on Road of Life, or to dedicate a mile of the walk in honor or memoriam of a cancer sufferer, please visit www.roadoflife.org, email Office@roadoflife.org, or telephone (614) 221-1235.
For the complete article, please read the full PDF Shaker Life Magazine Features Rob Emrich.