“It’s the worst trip you’ll ever love,” laughed Steven O’Brien, who launched the first Castaways Against Cancer kayak trip from Miami to Key West 21 years ago.
O’Brien, a colon cancer survivor, was on Key West’s Smathers Beach the afternoon of June 13, waiting for nine long-distance kayakers to come into view and finish their 160-mile trip from Miami.
The group paddled 20 to 30 miles a day, stopping each night at various places throughout the Keys while raising money for cancer research and honoring those who have battled the disease in all its forms.
The Castaways have raised more than $1.1 million since 2000. The 2020 trip raised more than $77,000, but that figure will double, as every dollar raised this year will be matched by the University of Miami’s Sylvester Cancer Center.