June 13, 2021

Cayman Islands’ local realtor’s ultimate challenge for childhood cancer research

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GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN, 15 July 2018.

On July 23rd local real estate agent and ultra marathon runner Kerri Kanuga will participate in her third Badwater race in Death Valley California; National Geographic has named the Badwater135 “The World’s Toughest Foot Race”. Covering 135 miles Kerri will trek non-stop through the lowest elevation in North America, 280 feet below sea level, through 3 mountain ranges finishing at the portal of Mt. Whitney. This will be Kerri’s third Badwater135, she has completed the race twice previously, and is again dedicating the race in support of the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research. Temperatures in Death Valley, the hottest place on earth, are expected to top 125 degrees fahrenheit next week.

Kerri has raised over $40,000 since 2015 and her fundraising efforts all over the world have included a 20 km swim around Key West, FL, the Cayman “Ker-a-Thon”, (a 6 mile sea swim followed by a 106 mile run), Marathon Des Sables and a total of 11 ultra-marathons of 100 miles or more, the longest being a 160 mile race in Brazil (equivalent to 6 marathons back to back!). Kerri will also be running her first 200-mile race this September around Lake Tahoe. Kerri’s motivation comes from fellow Cayman Islander, 11-year-old cancer survivor, Hannah Meeson, who battled medulloblastoma, which led to intense treatment that has left her with cognitive and hearing difficulties, and the inability to walk unassisted. When Kerri met Hannah in 2015, she was shocked to learn that only 4 percent of U.S. federal cancer funding is dedicated to research for childhood cancers. St. Baldrick’s and Kerri are working to change this for future generations.

“ To be considered for Badwater yet again is an honour and I am astounded by the fact that I am able to compete once more and that I’m continuing to improve as a long distance runner. Happily, I have never felt stronger in my life”, said Ms Kanuga. “I have so much gratitude that my body can run at this level and I am very happy that my sport allows me to give back and raise money and awareness for St Baldrick’s”.

Kerri hopes her efforts will lead to advanced survival rates in children and contribute to the prevention of lifelong side effects resulting from treatments given while kids’ bodies are still developing.

“Kerri is a true childhood cancer hero and we are in awe of her strength and determination. We are thrilled that Kerri has chosen St Baldrick’s and our hero fund, as her inspiration to compete. She will change the lives of all children fighting cancer with each step she takes during Badwater”, shared Gaylene Meeson, Hannah’s mother.

To support Kerri’s fundraising efforts in Badwater, the toughest footrace on earth, visit www.stbaldricks.org/fundraisers/kerathon2018

For further information about The St Baldrick’s Foundation and Hannah’s Heroes please visit www.facebook/stbaldrickshannahsheroes

IMAGES:
Kerri Kanuga and childhood cancer survivor, Hannah Meeson
Kerri Kanuga completes Badwater135 in July 2017

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