On March 24, during the Around the Bay annual road race, look for the young man wearing the pink Oakley sunglasses. That young man is Shawn Locke, 23. The pink glasses belong to his mother, Janice Locke, 55, the woman who's health struggles with Lupus have inspired him to run in support of St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation where she received treatment.
Janice, who was diagnosed with Lupus when she was a teenager, has received two life-saving kidney transplants at St. Joseph's in Hamilton. The first was done in 2002. Only 10 years old at the time, Locke has clear memories of that experience.
"I have vivid memories of nurses telling me everything was going to be OK--comforting me--and doctors, too," says her son.
Janice had a second successful kidney transplant in 2012. She may need one in another decade, too.
"The average lifespan for a renal transplant is 10 years," he says. "There's always the chance that she'll need another one."
Locke is pleased that he's now able to give back to the hospital that provided aid to his family. The Hamilton student was born there too.
'I just want to finish... and not die'
The Mohawk College student got the idea to run the race after a friend told him she planned to run.
"A friend at school said she was going to run and she asked me to take part. She mentioned it was for St. Joe's, and it clicked from there as an opportunity to give back to St. Joe's."
That was back in September 2012. Locke said he started training for the race shortly after that. He runs every other day for a minimum of 5K.
Sometimes he has company on his training days: his two border Collies.
"They tire me out!"
His mother was "thrilled" when he told her of his plans and she's been an active aid in soliciting donations from friends and family, said Locke.
"She's been on the campaign trail for me, if you can say that," he says, laughing.
With the help of his mother, a supportive network of friends and family, as well as some Facebook promotion, he's almost raised his goal of $2,000.
The race looming, Locke says he'll continue training, only taking a few days off to rest before March 24.
Locke has never run a race before and he admits he's a little nervous.
"I just want to finish running the whole way," he says, adding: "and not die."
Around The Bay photo map
Hamilton's Around the Bay Road Race is the oldest road race in North America. This year marks 119 years of the race and thousands of participants are already registered for the sold-out event.
If you're running this year or going to check out the race from the sidelines, we want you to help us cover the race in real time using our photo map.
Here's how to participate:
- Bring your smartphone with you on the race.
- While you're running (or watching), at any point, snap a photo.
- Tweet the photo to @CBCHamilton with the hashtag #bayrace and your approximate location.
- We'll geo-locate your photos in real time on a special race route photo map for up-to-date live coverage of the race from start to finish.
If you're interested in participating you can let us know ahead of time by tweeting or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org