Melanoma patient Chris Isfeld is preparing for a 30 km race in subzero temperatures across frozen Lake Winnipeg. He’ll be racing his childhood friend Shawn Bjornsson to raise funds for Save Your Skin Foundation.
The event, which he’s calling A Vikings Challenge, will take place on March 7, 2020.
Chris Isfeld’s story with cancer starts in 2017. After dealing with back pain for a number of months, he felt sudden excruciating pain in his side. An ultrasound revealed lesions on his liver and large masses on his adrenals. A biopsy of the lesions confirmed evidence of Melanoma. His scans revealed that the disease was very advanced and the tumor burden was severe.
Very quickly, the pain intensified. Chris had to go to the ER only a month after the biopsy. It was there he realized that he was partially paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors thought that his journey was coming to an end.
Chris was given lifesaving immunotherapy treatment just in time. The treatment was challenging but it proved to be effective. The cancer stopped growing and the side effects became more manageable over the next few months. Soon, he was walking again. By December 2018, just one year after his melanoma diagnosis, he was lacing up his running shoes again.
The results of his latest PET/CT scan, on November 2, 2019, show an almost complete metabolic response; he is well on the way to becoming NED (No Evidence of Disease).
Chris had been frequently running and practicing yoga to overcome the physical and emotional anguish he was feeling.
In a recent interview with Global News, he said:
“A friend of mine, Shawn Bjornsson from Winnipeg, posted a photo after he did a 5K run in -40, and for some reason, I just made a comment and said, ‘Hey, I’ll race you across the lake,’ just as a joke, But a week later, I thought about it, and thought, ‘You know what, this is an absolutely great idea.’
“It gives me something to focus on, and obviously with my diagnosis, I had gotten to know the people at Save Your Skin Foundation very well, and decided that I should do it as a fundraiser and raise money for them.”
True to their Viking roots, neither of them can back down from a challenge. On March 7, 2020, the first ever ‘Ice Run Across Lake Winnipeg’ will take place. The race will be about 30 km from Grand Beach, Manitoba to Gimli, Manitoba. They will be running to raise money for Save Your Skin Foundation.
Chris is already a quarter of the way to his goal of raising $30,000 for Save Your Skin Foundation. To learn more about Chris’s story or to donate to his campaign, visit his fundraising page here.
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