On December 31st, 2022, at the starting line of his final marathon, 53-year-old Gary McKee turned to the crowd of well-wishers and expressed his gratitude. Although the task he set himself had been challenging, the truly heroic thing was the donations that came in in support of his fundraiser – a staggering £1,000,000 ($1,058,950 USD) for cancer awareness.
Running for Cancer Awareness
Considering what a herculean physical task he had set for himself – and accomplished – the modesty was ingratiating. McKee had run 365 marathons in a year. But his goal – his true finish line – was to support The Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice at Home West Cumbria.
The father of three, McKee went through 22 pairs of running shoes and covered 9,563 miles in all weathers to raise money for these charities. He would often run his daily marathon before starting a shift as group leader at Sellafield Nuclear site. But it was all worth it, and to prove how important every single mile run was essential, the last £100,000 to meet his goal came on the last day.
The Director of Funding and Communications for Hospice At Home West Cumbria praised his efforts and stated that Gary not only raised funds but also brought the community together to support him in his challenge. The Macmillan Cancer Support executive director of fundraising also expressed her gratitude towards his selfless efforts and determination.
Through his efforts, he has also inspired others to join him. One of them, Chris Young, ran 90 marathons with McKee. England Rugby coach, Kevin Sinfield also joined him for a run and described his challenge as “mind-blowing” and an honor to support him.
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