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Cancer survivors honored at Buccaneer Stadium

Matt DeYoung • Sep 16, 2017 at 7:00 AM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — Justin Shamback never knows when the waves of sorrow will overwhelm him.

Shamback lost his wife, Shannon, to AML — a form of leukemia — this past March. Shannon’s battle with the disease lasted 13 months.

On Friday night, Justin honored his wife’s memory by walking around the track at Grand Haven High School’s Buccaneer Stadium during the Survivors Parade as part of the Bucs’ Pride Night to honor those affected by cancer.

“It’s a lot of mixed emotions,” Justin said following the parade. “From my experience, you don’t know when it’s going to hit you. You can sometimes go to something like this and you’re fine. You just never know. It’s like a wave that knocks you down.”

The Grand Haven football players wore purple jerseys during the game, with the name of a loved one or family friend, who is either battling cancer or has lost their life to the disease, across their backs.

GHHS senior Charlie Young, who scored his team’s first touchdown of the night Friday, wore Shamback’s name on his jersey.

“We’re friends with Margie, Charlie’s mom, and she sent me a message that Charlie wanted to honor Shannon,” Justin said.

Friday night’s parade was led by the American Legion Color Guard. That group included cancer survivors David MacKeller and Garrett Veihl, along with caregivers Dan MacKeller and Howard Weaver.

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