A Chilliwack man will soon be running over two back-to-back marathons to thank the hospital that saved his life and inspire the kids who are still fighting for theirs.
When he was 15 years old, Jayden Lee was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, starting his over three-year-long journey with cancer and chemotherapy as a patient at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. Now, at 22, Lee is looking to give back by way of a fundraiser which involves a 107-kilometre run from Chilliwack to the hospital.
Lee won’t be running alone, though. Together with his good friend Cameron Van Klei, the pair hope to raise $121,000. So far, Lee’s GoFundMe campaign has reached over $60,000. On the fundraiser’s page, Lee speaks about his experience with cancer and delves more into his motivations for the run itself.
“My experience gave me a whole new appreciation for life, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it,” Lee writes. “The journey made me thankful for the small things people take for granted each day like the outdoors.”
“Whenever I am having a bad day, or I’m upset about something, I look back and think of those times and tell myself to start focusing on how great I truly have it right now,” Lee continues. “There are kids in the hospital right now, thinking those same thoughts, and that's what this run is about. Showing them that tough situations don’t last long, tough people do!”
Over the summer, Lee received a letter from the BC Children's Hospital Foundation’s philanthropy officer Allison Hepworth, who wrote that the funds raised by Lee will go toward purchasing life-saving medical equipment and research for childhood illnesses such as cancer.
Lee’s run starts on Saturday, Oct. 2 and he has been posting regular training updates to his social media pages if you want to keep up with the journey.