A 25-year-old woman from Black Creek is planning to run the length of the Vancouver Island in the span of 17 days in support of her father.
Jacquelyn Janzen plans to run 12 marathons, or 500 kilometers, from Port Hardy to Victoria to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis and lupus.
Janzen’s father was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago.
Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease of the central nervous system.
It is estimated 100,000 Canadians have MS.
Jacquelyn will also be running for her friend, who has been diagnosed with lupus last year.
“They are so strong. I don’t know how they do it with those daily challenges, where you don’t have an option to just not deal with it,” she says. “This run is a choice that I have made, but they don’t have a choice about those things.”
The second-year nursing student ran her first marathon in October.
She’s been training 20 hours a week in the lead-up to her run.
In May, Janzen overcame a running injury that forced her to take two months off.
She came up with the idea for the run last May, but kept it secret until Christmas.
The event was her dad’s Christmas gift.
“He cried,” says Janzen.
Jacquelyn hopes to raise $50,000 through her journey. It will cost her $10,000 to fund the run.
She is accepting donations and selling special T-shirts on her website. She is also encouraging people to run with her for a $100 donation.
“That does not mean you have to run the full day. If you can only do 10 km, come join me for 10 km,” says Janzen. “I would love to have more people run with me. That kind of support, I think would be really awesome to have.”