B.C. cancer survivor runs 107 km to fundraise for hospital that treated him

A young cancer survivor in BC is put to the test on Saturday to support the hospital that has helped him through three and a half of the most difficult years of his life.

Jayden Lee, 22, and his friend Cameron Van Klei spent the day running 107 kilometers from Chilliwack to BC Children’s Hospital.

The duo started at midnight and were flanked by friends and well-wishers at various points along the route.

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The plan was to raise money for the hospital and raise the spirits of children who are currently facing the challenge Lee has struggled through.

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“It will be an emotional experience to now physically run from Chilliwack to the place where I was treated for 3.5 years,” Lee told Global News.

“I remember how discouraged I felt a few times in the hospital and I want to show those kids there now that if you commit to it, you can pretty much do anything you want.”

Lee was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2015 and completed his chemotherapy treatment in 2018.

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While the experience was at times grueling and demoralizing, Lee now attributes it to changing his outlook on life.

“Going through something like that completely changes your perspective on life. It makes you grateful for just the little things in life,” he said.

“I remember being stuck in the hospital and wishing I could go back to school with my friends.”

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By Saturday afternoon, the couple had reached their $121,000 fundraising goal, though they are still accepting donations through a GoFundMe.

Lee and Van Klei spent Friday loading up on carbs before heading out on Saturday with the goal of completing the run in about 12 to 14 hours.

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“It’s pretty much all going to be mental. You just get into your groove and you get this runner’s high and you get in the zone and you keep going,” Lee said before the run.

“Like being sick, it’s a slow process and it doesn’t really matter how fast you get there, as long as you get there.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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