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Runner tackling 35-hour challenge at Saanich’s Mt. Work for Help Fill a Dream

Jerry Hughes hopes to raise $35,000 for organization, celebrating its 35th year
Jerry Hughes at the finish line of one of his previous running fundraisers for children in need. (Photo courtesy of Help Fill a Dream)

Ultra-marathoner Jerry Hughes will ascend Mt. Work repeatedly over 35 hours on Aug. 9 and 10, with the aim to raise $1,000 for each hour he runs.

At 449 metres, Mt. Work in Saanich and Highlands is the highest point in the regional park, and Hughes hopes to raise another $35,000 for Help Fill A Dream’s 35th anniversary.

“Canada is one of the only countries that doesn’t have a rare disease foundation funded by the government – somebody has to do it. I want to do it,” he said.

To date, Hughes has fundraised nearly $50,000 for Help Fill A Dream through a variety of running events.

Born with Gardner’s syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that can lead to colon cancer and other serious complications, he is motivated by a desire to help children with life-threatening illnesses. He has three children of his own who are predisposed to the disease passed to him by his own father, which is a main motivating factor for him.

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The organization is especially close to Hughes’ heart, because he and his family were gifted a trip to Disneyland from Help Fill a Dream when he was a child. When he began his charitable running events, he knew the non-profit would be the recipient of his fundraising efforts.

Hughes understands the experience of living with a serious illness. As such, he has reframed his outlook on life by improving his health to show others a long, fulfilling life is possible so long as health, a positive outlook and giving back to others remain priorities.

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