An Abbotsford cancer survivor is inviting people across Canada to run a distance of their choice in their hometown to raise money for the Save Your Skin Foundation.
Chris Isfeld, a late-stage melanoma survivor, is holding A Viking’s Challenge on March 6 and 7.
Isfeld was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in 2017 and was given life-saving immunotherapy treatment.
The cancer stopped growing, and the side effects became more manageable over the next few months.
The results of a PET/CT scan in November 2019 showed an almost complete metabolic response. Isfeld is now on his way to becoming NED (no evidence of disease).
After he recovered, Isfeld practised yoga and ran to overcome the physical and emotional anguish he was feeling.
A friend of his, Shawn Bjornsson from Winnipeg, posted a photo after he did a five-kilometre run in -40 degrees C weather, and Isfeld joked that he would race him across the lake.
A week later, Isfeld thought it was a great idea and decided to do it as a fundraiser for the Save Your Skin Foundation.
On March 7, 2020, Bjornsson and Isfeld ran about 30 kilometres across Lake Winnipeg – Canada’s sixth largest lake – from Grand Beach to Gimli, Manitoba, raising almost $20,000 for the organization.
This year, Isfeld decided to open the challenge to the general public. Because of the pandemic, the event will be held virtually, allowing participants to run any distance they choose from any location in Canada and beyond.
To participate, runners have to pledge a certain number of kilometres. A running tally will be kept of the number of kilometres pledged to see how many times they can “cross” Lake Winnipeg.
So far, 43 participants, including Isfeld’s girlfriend and sons, have pledged to run 624 kilometres.
To register or to make a donation, visit https://bit.ly/3r7PUhY