Wesleyan grad plans 5K
Walk to benefit Lymphoma Research Foundation

On Saturday Justin McKinney will return to Wesleyan School, where he met his high school sweetheart, Jessica Berry.

The couple met in 1998, when he was a senior and she was a sophomore. They were together seven years before Berry, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in December 2001, died in May 2005.

It is in her memory that McKinney, 28, became involved in helping to organize the 2009 Lymphomathon, a noncompetitive walk to raise funds and awareness for the Lymphoma Research Foundation. The event will be held at Wesleyan on Saturday.

"I guess I want to do my part in making sure that future people with this type of cancer have all the means necessary to understand all about the cancer and fight it, like Jessica did," said McKinney, who has fought his own battle with cancer. "That's my personal reason for being involved, but I recognize that this walk is really about the over 500,000 Americans currently living with lymphoma, their friends and loved ones."

Registration for Saturday's walk will begin at

9 a.m. and participation is free and open to the community. The walk begins at 10 a.m.

"It's about funding research for better treatment options," McKinney said of the Lymphomathon, "and hopefully (finding) a cure for the number one form of blood cancer and the third most common childhood cancer."