A sophomore at the University of Maine is dreaming of summer, and not because of warmer weather.
In June, Matthew Dexter will participate in a 4,000 mile run.
As Joy Hollowell tells us, it’s all to honor his mom.
Matt Dexter started really running a few years ago after he graduated from high school.
“Kind of value that as good therapy,” says Dexter. “Regular stressers in life, kind of relieve that stress just by jogging.”
He’s participated in a few half marathons, including one this past fall. But in June, the sophomore at UMaine will jog a whole lot farther than that.
“Pretty much it’s a run across the country,” says Dexter. “And there’s a team of me and 33 other runners, all college students around the country.”
It’s called the 4K for Cancer.
“I have been looking and looking and looking for a run that I could do to help in the fight against cancer.”
The goal of this program is to enhance the quality of life for those with the disease. It’s a mission that hits at the heart for Dexter.
“My mother died of cancer when I was 13.”
She had stomach cancer, a disease that Dexter says at the time, he was clueless about.
“It took me awhile throughout high school to really figure it out- Like, why me? Why did this happen to me? And then I realized- well, it happens to a lot of families. I’m not alone. And that’s what is so great about the 4K for Cancer, really just connecting with the cancer community.”
Dexter will log up to 10 miles a day as part of a relay team. On rest days, they’ll visit local hospitals, schools, the YMCA, rec centers, churches and other places to talk with local cancer patients and their loved ones.
“I mean, I can’t even imagine what my mom and other people that have gone through cancer experienced,” says Dexter. “But I mean, I was in the same house with my mom for almost a year as she was dying of cancer and I was affected so much.”
Dexter has no doubt this will be a life changing journey. His goal, besides finishing the run, is to also change someone else’s life along the way.
“Personally I really want to affect one person’s life in a positive way.”
Matt Dexter will start June 15th near the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and finish 42 days later in Baltimore, Maryland.
His goal is to raise at least $5,000.
If you’d like to contribute or read Matt’s blog during the run, log onto http://4kforcancer.org/profiles/matt-dexter/