In an effort to support those battling cancer, News 8’s Jason Fechner kayaked 20 miles along the Mississippi River for 12 hours straight.
Fechner started his mission, Upriver Against Cancer, at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 7, 2014 to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities.
When he planned the fundraiser, Fechner said he would be out there, rain or shine and it turned out to be a little of both.
“They don’t get to take a break in their fight, so I’m not taking a break even if the weather’s bad,” Fechner said.
The fundraiser was attracting a lot of support, including from those who have battled cancer themselves.
“Since I am a survivor, I wanted to come out here and personally thank Jason for what he's doing,” said Ron Maday, a two-year survivor of pancreatic cancer. "It's real important to bring awareness to this. Cancer seems like it's on the rise, they're working everyday to find new cures and stuff."
Maday said he is a member of Gilda's Club and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, as well as groups in Des Moines and Waterloo that support the fight against pancreatic cancer.
"It helps get the word out, that there is hope out there and people are trying to fight it and it's an ongoing process," Maday said.
Volunteers gathered at Rock Island’s Schweibert Park and Davenport’s LeClaire Park to help collect donations. Residents were also invited to join the rowing at any time during the day.
"We ended up raising more than $1,500 online before we started today," Fechner said. He said numerous people stopped by to drop off donations as well.
If you would like to help support the cause, donations can be given via the Upriver Against Cancer’s GoFundMe page – click here.