When I was first hired here at Townsquare Media, NJ (Millennium Radio NJ at the time) in 2007, I was pretty much "the quiet new guy". There were a lot of people in the office and it's always a little awkward being "the new guy". But there was one person in particular who took it upon himself to bring me into the fold.

Kevin Collins worked in the promotions department at the time, and really did a little of everything else on top of that. Not only did he bring me around the office and get me accustomed to everything (and everyone), but he more or less forced me to socialize outside of work, too.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not much of a social butterfly, but Kevin pretty much dragged me out and made me get to know a group of people who have become some of my closest friends today.

None of us knew it at the time, but Kevin had Cystic Fibrosis.

One of his dreams was to be a full time on-air personality, and he got the opportunity to do that in Binghamton, NY briefly. Unfortunately he had to return home to NJ due to his health, but to this day I'm glad that he had the chance to be a full time "jock".

Kevin lost his fight with CF in December of 2008. As I write this, it's hard to believe that 3 1/2 years has passed. It's also a little strange to think about knowing someone for only about a year and a half, but becoming close friends with them that quickly. But that's the kind of person Kevin was.

Every year, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation hosts their Great Strides Walk in Point Pleasant Beach, where Kevin and his family are from. A large group of Kevin's family and friends always turn out and, as Kevin's mother has described it, "give a huge group hug".

We'll be heading out again this Sunday to walk in honor of Kevin and in hopes of a better future for current CF patients.

If you'd like more information or if you'd like to make a donation to "Team Collins" for this year's walk, you can get more info here.