Walkers will meet at noon Sept. 17 in Harding Park.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- It's been more than two years since Debbie Keryan lost her son Dustin to complications from surgery for a brain tumor.
However, she continues fighting to keep his memory alive and raise funds for brain tumor research with the second annual Dustin Keryan Memory Walk.
On June 1, 2004, Dustin Keryan, a 21-year-old from Hubbard, woke up and stumbled down the stairs from his bedroom, holding the walls on both sides.
Doctors did a CAT scan of Dustin's brain and found a mass. An MRI was done, and it was determined he had a brain tumor.
Dustin had brain surgery June 2 at The Cleveland Clinic. Bleeding and swelling hindered his recovery. He suffered a stroke from a blood clot. On July 5, he died of complications from his surgery.
His mother said the pain in losing Dustin was almost unbearable.
Still, she focused her energy on helping others experiencing similar loss and raising funds so other families would not have to experience similar pain.
The memory walk in honor of Dustin was born.
Walkers will meet at noon Sept. 17 in Harding Park here, where the event will continue until 6 p.m. Registration for those who wish to participate will be $15. The registration fee includes a memory walk T-shirt and bottled water.
"People who don't want to walk, don't have to. People can come out and just enjoy the day," Keryan said. "We will have entertainment and a balloon launch at the end of the day."
According to Keryan, the balloons being released during the launch will have a message attached -- asking anyone who happens to find it to donate to brain tumor research.
Keryan said there will also be a "Wall of Honor" situated at the memory walk. Participants may attach a picture or anything they desire about a recently lost loved one.
Keryan said the first memory walk brought in about $4,000 for brain tumor research. She is hoping to double that amount this year.
"My purpose in all of this is to keep Dustin's memory alive, and I pray that our efforts will help find a cure so others don't have to endure the tragedy we had to endure," she said.
Keryan has also established a scholarship fund in Dustin's name at Youngstown State University. She plans to award one Hubbard student planning to study some type of law enforcement at YSU $1,000. She said Dustin, was hoping to enter law enforcement.