2017 Dedication - Ken Janson

The 19th Annual Mary’s Walk and Kerrymen 5k
Will be Dedicated to a Remarkable Person - Ken Janson


Ken Janson is a remarkable person.  He’s been an important member of the Mary’s Walk Planning Committee since 2001, and during that time, he has donated countless hours to the fight against cancer.  Be it fate, irony, or tragic consequence, Ken was diagnosed with esophageal cancer this past November and is now undergoing both radiation and chemotherapy.  His unrelenting dedication to our event has been an inspiration for me during the 19 years that Mary’s Walk has remembered my wife’s death in 1997 from Burkett’s Lymphoma.  Together, we will have raised (at the end of this campaign) $3 million to support cancer research and patients.  At times, we all need a little help and support, and it is now time to support Ken.
When I think about Ken’s dedication and loyalty to Mary’s Walk, I realize it began long before the first walk or run, it began in 1968 – he was a freshman at Thornton Academy when Mary, a junior, befriended him.  She was kind, talkative, and radiated a warmth that comforted and endured.  Ken has never forgotten. Little did he know where that friendship would lead him in life.
It may not be much of an exaggeration to say that Ken is a juggernaut volunteer. He is generous, kind, hard-working, and passionate about the walk and run.  Mary’s Walk has grown and prospered from his enduring commitment, but our event is not the only cause or group that has received Ken’s support. He has also been a long-time volunteer at Thornton Academy, first as a perennial member of the Alumni Board, and now as a Trustee. Giving back to the community is a way of life for Ken and his family.  His wife, Laurie, is the long-time director of the walker registration for Mary’s Walk, and like so many in our community, they have turned our event into a family commitment.
Ken is also an entrepreneur – he is the owner of a marketing and visual display business, Nimlok Maine, and has clients throughout the state, but as many of us have come to know, Ken is far from one dimensional.  Most weekends, he performs and sings at local venues with his own band, Kids at Play. When Ken was first diagnosed and he explained the treatment he would be receiving, we were not sure how often we would see him as we planned this year’s event, but despite a five-day, weekly schedule of chemotherapy and radiation, Ken still attends the weekly planning meeting and continues to contribute his many talents to Mary’s Walk. Amazing!
For the first time in our 19-year history, for all of these reasons, Mary’s Walk dedicates the event to one of our own – Ken Janson.  Our event has a history of featuring a cancer survivor as a speaker during the pre-event ceremonies, and next year, for our 20th anniversary, Ken will take the stage and talk about his fight with disease that has affected so many, too many. He will be our 2018 speaker as participants gather in the Thornton Academy gym.    
Ken, we all love you, support you, and with God’s help we look forward to your comments as a survivor March 18, 2018.