Family, friends and neighbors will gather Friday, May 5, to celebrate the life of Heather Walker, the Marblehead mom and Celtics vice president who passed away April 26 after a battle with brain cancer. She was 52 years old.
“The Walker/Michalowski family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the entire Marblehead community for the incredible support they have provided since Heather’s diagnosis,” said family friend Wendy Semonian. “This has meant a lot to both families and tremendously helped them to navigate this most devastating time.”
The memorial will be held at the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead on Friday, noon to 3:30 p.m.
After her diagnosis nearly two years ago, Walker and her family launched #Move4Heather, a campaign to raise awareness and funds for glioblastoma research at Dana-Farber. They raised nearly $650,000. (Read more about Walker’s powerful impact HERE.)
“She conducted countless media interviews including ABC National to raise awareness and funding for glioblastoma research,” Semonian said. “She even accomplished her goal of meeting President Biden, whose son Beau passed away from glioblastoma, to further the conversation of his Moonshot Initiative to reduce the death rate from cancer by accelerating treatment discovery.”
Walker, who has two young daughters, worked with the Celtics as vice president of public relations for 16 years before her illness, partnering with players to promote the team. When the Celtics won the NBA championship in 2008, she grew especially close with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and James Posey. The team honored Walker as a “Hero Among Us” last year for her work raising money and awarenes for cancer research. In a game right after she passed away, Celtics players wore special T-shirts with a heart and Walker’s initials.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to M4H: danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/move4heather or to the education fund for Walker’s daughters Sammy and Taylor at go.fidelity.com/0bf9dq.
Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.