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VIDEO: Quadra Island man running from Campbell River to Nanaimo for alternative cancer care

Fundraiser in name of sister who passed away in January
Ryan Rasmussen just before he set out on his 160 km run from Campbell River to Nanaimo. Photo by Marc Kitteringham / Campbell River Mirror

Ryan Rasmussen is running from Campbell River to Nanaimo today, raising money for alternative cancer care.

Rasmussen left the Campbell River Ferry Terminal at 10 this morning, and is making his way down the old Island Highway to Piper’s Lagoon Park in Nanaimo. Rasmussen hopes to arrive between 10 and 12 p.m. on Sunday.

He is running in honour of his sister who passed away last winter to cancer. The run is called The Coco Run, in homage to his sister Nicole’s nickname.

“On January 1, my sister passed away from colon cancer. Right before she passed, I came up with this idea. We both talked about it and she thought it was a great idea. When this is all done, I’m going to be donating to a treatment facility to help pay for someone’s treatments — or as much as I can with the money I’ve raised. It’ll be all donated in my sister’s name.”

Earlier this year, Rasmussen said that “I watched my sister crawling on the floor screaming in pain on a daily basis, and I felt like if I was going to raise money for people who are going through that, I wanted them to see that I’m willing to go through that exact same pain that they are going through.”

“I needed to do something that was kind of put me in pain, because since I was watching my sister in pain, I feel like I needed to be in pain to raise the money,” he added. “I feel like I can’t do something that’s easy.”

READ MORE: Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

Over the last few months, the training and preparation has turned this into something for himself as well. Passing milestone distances and pushing himself has shown exactly what he can do.

“Seven months ago I did my first 20 km,” he said.

As he set out, Rasmussen did admit to some nerves, saying that he is unsure how his body and mind will cope after the 100 km mark.

“I’m pretty nervous, but I’ve done as much as I can. A lot of it is mental. Three weeks ago I did a 100 km run, three weeks before that I did 80,” he said. “When I did 80, I barely made it, but then I passed it because I knew it was a mind thing after that. I’m pretty nervous though.”

He is being supported by friends and family, who are going to be meeting him every 15 kilometres with food and water. There will be a car with him overnight as well to ensure visibility on the highway.

Rasmussen would like to thank the people who have supported him so far.

“The support and messages that I’ve been getting for the last few days of people just thinking what I’m doing is great is really the fuel that will keep me going today,” he said.

Donations can be made to the Coco Run via their website, Facebook page or by e-transferring to Rasumussen’s route is available online, and his team will be updating the Facebook page througout the day with his progress.

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