On June 17, a group of intrepid kayakers and cyclists pulled into Key West Simonton Beach. For the paddlers, it was the end of a grueling one-week, 160-mile trek from Miami’s Virginia Key to the southernmost island. For the cyclists, it was just as taxing a trip, but faster – 175 miles in a single day. And it’s all in the name of cancer research.
“It was simply awesome,” said Jackie Suarez, the communications volunteer lead for Castaways Against Cancer, the organization that sponsors the yearly paddle to raise money dedicated to fight the deadly disease. “We surpassed our goal of $200,000 by raising $205,000 to date, and it’s still growing.”
Funds raised from the trip will go to the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. In February 2022, the Castaways announced a five-year, $1.5 million pledge to the research institute, and the University of Miami has pledged to match 50% of the funds raised by the adventurers each year.