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For the Love of Pat: Community Rallies Around Southdown Man Battling Cancer

Supporters of Patrick Wallace have launched a fundraising campaign to help him as he battles cancer.

Southdown resident and cancer patient Patrick Wallace with sons Ryan and Nathaniel.|Photo courtesy GeorgiAnna King-Schurr
Southdown resident and cancer patient Patrick Wallace with sons Ryan and Nathaniel.|Photo courtesy GeorgiAnna King-Schurr
To know Southdown resident Patrick Wallace is to love Patrick Wallace, according to GeorgiAnna King-Schurr, a longtime friend and former classmate.

That's why when Wallace, 51, called King-Schurr in September and told her he'd been diagnosed with gastroesophageal junction carcinoma, it wasn't even a full day before friends, neighbors and former classmates were gathered around her table trying to devise a way to help. 

"There is such a huge network of people who love and support him," King-Schurr said. "He is one of the most well loved, well liked well-respected people ever."

King-Schurr and Wallace have known one another for decades. They attended Edgewater Elementary School together, were classmates Annapolis Junior High—now Annapolis Middle—and both graduated from South River High. Wallace still lives in Edgewater's Southdown neighborhood where he was raised, just down the street from his parents. 

Because battling cancer takes both physical and financial toll, Wallace's supporters decided to start the GoFundMe campaign For the Love of Pat in December.

Wallace is self-employed, and owns PM Wallace Designs, a landscaping and lighting business. His diagnosis will hinder his ability to support his two sons, as well as to pay for expensive cancer treatments. 

"Cancer is challenging at every turn and difficult to endure. It affects its victims physically, mentally and financially. But Patrick is no martyr, and with his army of supporters he continues to persevere with gratitude and that beautiful smile as he meets each challenge," wrote King-Schurr in the GoFundMe campaign page.

King-Scherr said Wallace was reluctant to go public with his diagnosis, or to ask for help financially. 

"He's not looking for pity ... I worked long and hard to convince him that people want to help, and that often people have no idea what to do," she said.

All money raised by the campaign will go directly to Wallace "to assist with life expenses they have, and will continue to incur, as he honorably, and with great spirit, meets the challenges of treatment and recovery," says the GoFundMe campaign page.

Thus far, the campaign has raised $2,125 of the $40,000 goal. To donate to For the Love of Pat, visit the GoFundMe campaign page here. 

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