Kanuga racing again to fight childhood cancer

| 17/07/2018 | 1 Comment
CNS Local Life

Kerri Kanuga crosses finish line at 2017 Badwater

(CNS Local Life): Ultramarathoner Kerri Kanuga will participate in her third Badwater race in Death Valley California, on 23 July, which National Geographic has dubbed “The World’s Toughest Foot Race”. Covering 135 miles, Kanuga will trek non-stop through the lowest elevation in North America, 280 feet below sea level, and through mountain ranges before finishing at the portal of Mt Whitney.

Kanuga, who is a local real estate agent, is again dedicating the race to support the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research, stated a press release. Temperatures in Death Valley, the hottest place on earth, are expected to top 125 degrees Fahrenheit next week.

Since 2015, Kanuga has raised more than $40,000. Her fundraising efforts all over the world have included a 20 km swim around Key West, Florida, the Cayman “Ker-a-Thon” (a six-mile sea swim followed by a 106 mile run), Marathon Des Sables and a total of 11 ultramarathons of 100 miles or more, the longest being a 160 mile race in Brazil (equivalent to six marathons back to back).

She will also be running her first 200 mile race this September around Lake Tahoe. Kanuga has said her motivation comes from fellow Cayman Islander, 11-year-old cancer survivor, Hannah Meeson, who battled medulloblastoma, which led to intense treatment that has left her with cognitive and hearing difficulties, and the inability to walk unassisted.

When Kanuga met Hannah in 2015, she said she was shocked to learn that only 4 percent of US federal cancer funding is dedicated to research for childhood cancers. St Baldrick’s and Kanuga are working to change this for future generations.

“To be considered for Badwater yet again is an honour and I am astounded by the fact that I am able to compete once more and that I’m continuing to improve as a long-distance runner. Happily, I have never felt stronger in my life,” said Kanuga. “I have so much gratitude that my body can run at this level and I am very happy that my sport allows me to give back and raise money and awareness for St Baldrick’s”.

Kanuga added that she hopes her efforts will lead to advanced survival rates in children and contribute to the prevention of lifelong side effects resulting from treatments given while kids’ bodies are still developing.

Gaylene Meeson, Hannah’s mother, said of Kanuga’s efforts: “Kerri is a true childhood cancer hero and we are in awe of her strength and determination. We are thrilled that Kerri has chosen St Baldrick’s and our hero fund, as her inspiration to compete. She will change the lives of all children fighting cancer with each step she takes during Badwater.”

To support Kanuga’s Badwater fundraising efforts go to the St Baldrick’s Foundation website. For more information about Hannah’s Heroes go to the event’s Facebook page

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Category: Community, Fundraiser, Running, Sports

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cure for cancer would never be found. At least watch The truth about cancer documentary.
    As for the run, there is a saying, whatever rocks your boat. But frankly, all these runs for a cause, one or another, are silly, in my opinion.

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