Cancer survivor raises over $125,000 running from Chilliwack to B.C. Children’s Hospital – Abbotsford News
Chilliwack’s Jayden Lee wanted to make a difference for children with leukemia, so he ran 103 kilometers.
By the end of his run, he had raised more than $125,000 for charity.
Shortly after 7pm on October 21, Lee and close friend Cameron Van Klei exited the parking lot of Century 21 Creekside Realty on Luckakuck Way.
Destination, BC Children’s Hospital on Oak Street in Vancouver.
“The day before I was very nervous, but super excited at the same time,” Lee said. “One of those things I’ve learned in life is to do things that you’re afraid of, and this was absolutely terrifying. But getting out of your comfort zone makes you grow as a person, and that’s what it did for me.”
Along the way, 22-year-old Lee often thought about his own experience as a cancer survivor.
He was diagnosed with leukemia when he was in 10th grade and received three and a half years of treatment at BC Children’s Hospital. With the help of nurses and doctors, Lee won his battle, and those memories of pain and despair, hope and triumph propelled him through the flight.
“My body told me that after 60 kilometers I was done and that I still had the equivalent of a marathon to go,” he said. “I had those children in the hospital in mind, but I also had to do this for myself. To know that I spent three and a half years in that hospital, and now being able to run from Chilliwack there, is something that has kept me going.”
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Lee and Van Klei arrived at BC Children’s Hospital the following afternoon, running through a balloon arch to the cheers of friends, family, BC Children’s Hospital staff and patients.
“That was pretty cool and emotional, and the coolest thing was meeting the kids who are current oncology patients,” Lee said. “There was a little girl who said she wanted to run like me, and her mom messaged me the next day to say that girl was running in circles in her backyard.”
The final fundraising total was $125,367.72, far exceeding Lee’s initial expectations.
“My original goal when I first thought of doing this was $25,000 and my friend Cam (Van Klei) told me to aim much higher,” Lee said. “I told him we would never get that much, and it took us a while to even get halfway there. There was a point where I didn’t think we were going to make it, but we did and it all goes to the oncology department of the hospital.” BC Children’s Hospital, where it will certainly be put to good use.”
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