FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

A Walk across America for Cancer

March 13, 2018

 

Updated June 14, 2018:

Chad embarked on his walk on May 6, has walked more than 900 miles and has passed through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. He has been through two sets of tires on his stroller and multiple pairs of tennis shoes, but has met some inspiring people and is receiving incredible support along the way. Specifically, FedEx team members have supported Chad by walking with him, hosting him and sending him care packages. Chad will be following Route 66 for the rest of his journey, hoping to reach Venice Beach in September.


Chris and Shiela SchrackFedEx Freight Road Driver Chad Schrack will celebrate his 50th birthday in May. To mark the occasion, he plans to go on a walk…a very long walk.

“I’ll start in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, and head wes

t to my final destination of Venice Beach in Los Angeles,” Schrack said. “Many people say I’m a little crazy for willingly walking 2,800 miles, but it stems from a passion for me.”

In 2006 at age 38, Schrack’s wife Sheila was diagnosed with colon cancer. Although Sheila is now cancer-free, four surgeries and a year of chemotherapy cause lasting effects. Life is never the same after diagnosis, and that is why prevention is key. The cancer sparked a passion for both Schrack and his family to raise awareness for this disease.

That passion took form in 2007, when Schrack started the Polar Plunge. Every year since then, his friends and family and even complete strangers have joined him on New Year’s Day to plunge into freezing water – all to raise money and awareness for colon cancer. In 2012, Schrack’s wife received a scholarship to attend Call on Congress with Fight Colorectal Cancer. They have attended every year since then to speak with their representatives about funding and awareness. As part of their efforts, Schrack and Sheila are proposing to make a colonoscopy part of the Department of Transportation’s physical at age 40 instead of 50.

In 2015, Schrack and his wife began participating in Climb for a Cure. This group of cancer survivors and supporters climb mountains in Colorado to raise awareness and money. So far, Schrack and his family have raised over $100,000, but they aren’t stopping anytime soon.

Seven years ago, Schrack decided he wanted to walk across the country. He approached his service center manager at the time and asked if he could get time off for the walk. His manager responded with a funny look and said, “If you’re crazy enough to try it, sure, I’ll make sure you get the time off.” That was just the answer Schrack needed.

“As the walk approaches, I think of all those I knew who have been taken away too soon, and feel motivated to honor them,” Schrack said.

According to the National Cancer Institute, colon cancer is the second leading cancer-related killer in the United States, but is preventable and curable if detected at an early stage. While Schrack looks to raise money for research, his main goal is to bring awareness to the disease and encourage everyone to get their regular screenings.

“This is life or death,” Schrack said. “Getting a colonoscopy can literally save your life. There is no reason not to get one.”

As he was planning his walk, another idea struck him. Schrack served as a squad leader in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. After returning from war, a young man on his squad took his own life. According to the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, each day, an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide, so Schrack’s goal is to walk 22 miles a day. One mile for each veteran. At this rate, Schrack estimates that his whole walk will take 130 days.

“It’s not about me,” Schrack said. “It’s about raising awareness for veteran suicide and colon cancer. It makes a difference. It saves lives.”

It really isn’t about Schrack.

“Schrack downplays the journey of what he has done,” Matt Ducher, service center manager – Cleveland, formerly Youngstown, Ohio, said. “He is one of the most humble people I know. One day I came to work, and some team members were whispering about how Schrack had been on national TV raising awareness for colon cancer. Not only did he not tell anyone about this, but he took his vacation time to do it.”

Schrack’s team members and management are in full support of his efforts and always have been.

“Since day one of my wife’s diagnosis, the support from management and fellow team members has been overwhelming,” Schrack said. “From allowing me to take time off, to team members and the company supporting fundraising efforts, the FedEx Living PSP culture has been evident.”

As Schrack sets out on his adventure on May 6, be sure to follow along on Twitter at @cancerstroll and on Facebook.


Comments

    Pamela Saunders says:

    Hi Chad,
    I use to be a neighbor of your mom’s when you lived at Lakeview Estates. You were a young boy then.
    So proud of you!
    I had Breast Cancer in 2014.
    Cancer free! If you come through Sellersburg Indiana or Louisville I would love to come cheer you on! Good luck

    Shelley Davis says:

    Good luck Chad! We will follow your progress!

    Dennis L Patterson says:

    Awesome Chad!!

    Dennis Patterson says:

    Chad is a cool guy with a great heart. He’s also pretty tough. I look forward to watching this journey as it unfolds!! Someone should make this a TV show…

    Ginny Barr says:

    Go Chad!!!

    Shelley says:

    Get’um Hook ❤️

    karen says:

    yea ! i am happy the Living PSP culture resonates in your business unit! good luck

    Matt Ducher says:

    We are so proud of you Chad! Your ability to raise awareness for this deadly disease is amazing. Good luck on this epic adventure. I plan on syncing up for 1 full walking day with you. 🙂

    Lynn Williams says:

    I am so proud of you and wish you the best of luck! FedEx is amazing on how they support our families- we are all one big family. Good luck on your journey!

    R.NEHRU says:

    ALL THE BEST.
    I AM VERY PROUD OF FEDEX.

    Judith Bauer says:

    Best wishes Chad. You are embarking on a wonderful adventure and cause!

    Tom Perry says:

    Let me know when and if you are coming through Texas Chad. OOGA BOOGA

    Phyllis brown says:

    My heart is with you on every step of your journey. Be safe, love Yo Mamma

    Martin says:

    All across the world people tear away at the fabric of our society. Here is a wonderful man doing something selfless to strengthen it. Congratulations and good luck Chad!

    JoEllen says:

    So proud of Chad !! He was our neighbor for many years and our friend forever ❤️ Safe travels and we will come and walk with you

    Lance A says:

    Met Chad and his college walking buddy on the trail yesterday in Vienna. Such a wonderful person to identify TWO tragic causes and work to raise awareness. Hope to meet them again at some point. Do you have a live tracker or feed to show your location on the map? It would be awesome for folks to know this information. It will result in a lot of “on trail” support and offers for dinner/place to sleep. Be safe.
    Lance (32 year Vet and Cancer survivor)

    Sidita Hasi says:

    Good luck ! If you need a place in Boston I would love to host you! Reach out through FedEx email

    Seth Mohorn says:

    Good luck and may you have continued success in your journey. You are demonstrating what it means to be there through sickness and health. You are a fine example. God bless you!!

    Carolina Melul says:

    Good job raising the awareness of colonrectalcancer. I lost my dad last year , he was only 68, because that illness.. Ididnotknow aboutit. Since then I started to run halfmarathons and 10k and 5ks wearing blue and colonrectalcancer shirt to make people aware of the illnes. Keep doing it. I ma so glad your wife survided and you are doing what you are doing. I am in Memphis also part of fedex services family.

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