WQAD’s Jason Fechner to kayak for cancer support, donations

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A blue kayak will go back-and-forth on the Mississippi River between Davenport and Rock Island on Saturday, June 7th.

For 12 hours straight.

“I’ve never come close to paddling for that long,” WQAD anchor Jason Fechner said, “but it seems like a good goal for a great cause.”

Fechner, whose mom is marking 10 years since she won her battle against breast cancer, currently has friends fighting the disease and he says wanted to do something special for them.

“A great friend’s been battling Stage 4 breast cancer and my college roommate’s father’s bravely fighting Stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” he said. “This is a way to show them I’m thinking about them and hopefully raise a lot of money for support and research in the process.”

Volunteers will gather in Rock Island’s Schweibert Park and Davenport’s Le Claire Park from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on that Saturday to collect donations. Fechner’s also inviting anyone with a canoe or kayak to join him for some runs across the river that day.

“No sign-up, no commitment,” he said. “Come out, say hello, hop on the water for awhile– we’ll be out there rain-or-shine– they don’t get to take a break in their fight, so I’m not taking a break even if the weather’s bad.”

Called “Upriver Against Cancer,” Fechner will evenly split all the money raised between Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

To donate to Fechner’s cause, head to the Upriver Against Cancer GoFundMe page.

If you’re interested in volunteering to collect donations or in sponsoring the event, you can contact him at jason.fechner@wqad.com.