Cleveland Browns quarterback
That is why he will take part in the Galen Foundation and People Beating Cancer’s Talk-the-Talk, Walk-the-Walkathon this Saturday morning from 10 to 12 p.m. ET at University School’s Upper School Track in Hunting Valley, Ohio.
“Until we find a cure for it, it’s going to always be something that’s going to affect us in some way or some fashion,” Wallace said following the Browns’ minicamp practice Thursday afternoon. “You can’t take a day off from it. You can’t take a day off, just always have to be on top of it and try to raise awareness.”
He added, “It’s important to help raise awareness for it because cancer, nowadays, is taking a lot of people and it’s affecting a lot of people. We’ve got a couple of guys on this team who were personally affected by it by maybe losing a parent or a loved one, somebody they knew. It’s always good to help raise awareness for that.”
The third-year Browns quarterback is well aware of what cancer does to a person and a family. He watched his mother Linda battle multiple myeloma, go into remission for eight years and eventually succumb to the disease.
Linda Wallace was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1998 when he was at Oregon State University. Wallace came home and on the drive back to his hometown of Sacramento, Calif., his brother broke the news to him.
“I just thought it was terminal and she was going to pass within a few months,” Wallace recalled. “It was something she battled with for a long time. It was about 10 years that she dealt with it, a lot of medicine, a lot of trips to the hospital, a lot of rough patches, but at the end of the day, she’s in a better place. She doesn’t have to struggle and go through pain anymore. It’s hard, but you always think about her.”
Watching his mother go through that battle inspired Wallace to found Joyce’s Angels, a foundation which bears his mother’s middle name. While she was going through her battle against multiple myeloma, Linda Wallace served as an inspiration to her son. That impression she left with Wallace is still present in his mind today.
“It was important just to see the strength that she had, especially to the last minute, having to see her go through the certain stages of that cancer and how it affected her,” Wallace said. “It’s hard for me, especially when I go through and I see it or I might be out at practice and there might be a rough patch that I’m going through, thinking about some of the things she went through just gives me strength. It gives me strength to help people out and help them understand cancer and how it affects different people.”
For more information on Saturday’s Talk-the-Talk, Walk-the-Walkathon, please visit http://galen.donorpages.com/Walkathon2012/ or Seneca’s donor page at http://galen.donorpages.com/Walkathon2012/SenecaWallace.