Newfoundland woman running marathon per day before Christmas for families of cancer patients

Newfoundland woman Maike van Niekerk is counting down to the holidays by running a marathon each day for the seven days leading up to Christmas. This is a challenge van Neikerk is taking on in order to raise funds for families of cancer patients living in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

The funds from the project will go to the Newfoundland chapter of Canadian Cancer Society. The challenge is being called Katrin’s Kare– it’s named after van Niekerk’s mother who died from breast cancer. More specifically, the money is being raised to cover the travel costs that patients have to pay when commuting to the hospital to get radiation treatment.

In Newfoundland, patients only have one hospital (located in St. John’s) where they can get treatment. That means that for some, it’s quite a long haul from home.

“The cost of having to go back and forth is extremely expensive. When they do give money back, it’s very little,” says van Niekerk. That’s how she came up for the idea of this care package.

“It helps to fund people’s transportation to St. John’s in order to get their radiation. That’s the care package portion of it,” she says. Her cause is supposed to be more targeted rather than simply donating the money to research.

“It’s targeting an issue that many people don’t know about. There are so many organisations which are solely raising money for research which is amazing. So many people are not aware that radiation is so costly and that people don’t have access to it.”

So far, van Neikerk has raised $61,200 of her $70,000 goal.