Squadron supports Airman in time of need

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
When times get tough people often turn to their extended families for help. Being a military member stationed in Germany can make this difficult; however, a person's unit often steps up to the challenge and helps its Airmen out.

The 52nd Medical Support Squadron is currently helping an Airman in its extended family by sponsoring a treadmill-a-thon to raise money for his family.

Master Sgt. Robert Thackston, 52nd MDSS, is preparing for retirement and a move back to the U.S. all while helping his wife, Pamela, is in the battle of her life with late-stage cancer.

"Because of the holidays and the retirement we had to put this together really quick, but we wanted to do something for them before they left," said Master Sergeant Keith Lux, 52nd MDSS.

Members of the 52nd MDSS are running 24 hours and 52 minutes nonstop on treadmills to raise money to support the master sergeant's family and raise cancer awareness.

"[Cancer] is something that everybody that I've known has dealt with in some fashion," Sergeant Lux said, "so if there is any way that we can bring awareness to it, it's good."

Raising cancer awareness is one thing Mrs. Thackston is especially concerned about.

"I really think that is important for women to get screened for breast cancer," she said. "There was nothing in my family history to indicate that I would get breast cancer and I never thought that I would have cancer before I was scanned."

With squadron aware of the difficult situation the Thackston family is in it pulled together to show their support

"We have a couple of people that have made donations that are going per mile and some have donated a lump sum," said Tech. Sgt. Mark Romera, 52nd MDSS. "The guys that are coming out to run are enthusiastic about putting some miles on the treadmill for our Airman."

The squadron has about 25 people running at different time slots to keep the treadmills going.

"Some people are doing 30 minutes, some an hour and some 2 hours," Sergeant Lux said.

All the proceeds raised from the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society on behalf of the family and provide a scholarship for the family's two teenage children.

"It felt good to know that there were people out there supporting us, thinking about us and willing to do something like that for us," Mrs. Thackston said. "It just felt good to know so many people cared."