Rocky Mount dog walk raises money for cancer research

Posted October 4, 2008 5:24 p.m. EDT

— More than 500 walkers and 250 dogs participated on Saturday in the Rocky Mount Paws for a Cause Dog Walk and Animal Parade at Sunset Park, according to event organizers.

Proceeds from the event went to cancer research at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

At the start of the event, $80,000 had already been raised, according to a press release.

The event included dogs dressed in costumes, children’s face painting and animal blessings. Participants who didn’t have a dog were given the option to rent an “invisible” dog for the walk.

Susan and Wardlaw Lamar had the idea for the event, which was organized by Rocky Mount community and church groups and other supporters.

Susan Lamar is a pancreatic cancer patient and advocate for pancreatic cancer research. Her husband, Wardlaw Lamar, is a multiple myeloma survivor.

In the summer of 2007, Susan Lamar was told she had no evidence of disease. She and her husband were driving from an event and saw a wet, bedraggled dog in the median. They took it home and tried to find its owner, but no one came forward to claim him.

The couple eventually adopted the dog and named it Ned, which stood for “no evidence of the disease.”

Since then, Susan Lamar’s cancer has returned and the Rocky Mount community rallied around the Lamars and the dog walk, event organizers said.