A Maple Ridge woman ran more kilometres each day throughout the month of April as part of a fundraiser for her Chilliwack friend with leukemia.
Dave Corke was diagnosed with leukemia just two days before Christmas last year. Since then, friends have been rallying to raise funds for the family to help pay for hospital appointments, medication and to ease their financial stresses due to Corke being unable to work.
April Migneault is one of those friends who stepped up.
She started out on April 1 running one kilometre (which took about five minutes) and gradually increased her distance by a kilometre every day, ending with a 30-kilometre run on April 30 (which took two hours and 52 minutes).
“I will be running the date of the calendar in kilometres each day in April for a total of 465 kilometres in 30 days,” Migneault wrote on social media earlier in April.
The idea actually came from a friend who proposed the “calendar run challenge” to her. So she ran with it and decided to raise money at the same time.
“I love challenging myself and thought if I could help the Corke family at the same time then that would become my ‘why,’” Migneault said.
She said she’s fortunate other friends have joined her on her daily runs. So far, she’s raised more than $3,100 and during the month of April, she ran a total of 487 kilometres.
“Dave and I are completely overwhelmed and humbled by all the support from friends and strangers in the community,” said Dave’s wife, Vanessa Corke. “April’s running challenge has completely astounded us, and we are so grateful for what she is doing.”
Migneault is just one of many friends who have been helping the Chilliwack family. Earlier in April another friend, Sharon Reeder, organized a golf fundraiser within the golfing community. It seemed fitting since Dave previously worked in the golf industry. The event brought in more than $10,000.
Others have pitched in, too. Debbie Channing set up a GoFundMe and as of April 30, more than $15,000 had been raised.
Corke was diagnosed on Dec. 23, 2020 with acute lymphocytic leukemia (B-cell Philadelphia chromosome positive). He began chemotherapy on Christmas Day and has been travelling regularly to Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) since then for chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
On April 30, while Migneault was out running her final 30 kilometres, Corke was at VGH for a stem cell transplant that same day.
“I’m so glad we have been able to help the Corkes, they are a wonderful family,” Migneault said.
The Corkes think their friends are equally wonderful.
“Our lives have changed, but through the sadness, we look for the good. We feel blessed to have such amazing support as we navigate this journey,” Vanessa said.
To donate to the cause, go to gofundme.com/f/the-amazing-corke-family.