HOUSTON - Delivering hope, one frozen footstep at a time. That's what a familiar voice to many of you will be doing between November 16 through November 24, as he heads to Alaska on one of the most dangerous journeys in the world.
"The New 93Q's" Kevin Kline is on a mission to bring awareness and raise funds for childhood cancer in an extraordinary way.
"We're testing Mother Nature, we really don't know what to expect," states Kline.
No one has ever attempted this before, but leave it to extreme athlete and Houstonian Kevin Kline to come up with the idea. He has been planning and training for two years, as he prepares to run "into the unknown" and film his journey about trying to find a cure.
"The Dalton Highway is the 10th most dangerous highway in the world, the most dangerous road in North America! This idea came about seven years ago when I first mentioned it to Trish, my wife - we should run the Dalton, to take kids to the top of the world," says Kline. The kids he refers to are childhood cancer fighters.
He founded the organization Snowdrop Foundation in 2006, after witnessing a local girl fight and then lose her battle to cancer. It changed his life and perspective so much, it sent his life down a path to help pediatric cancer patients by raising crucial dollars to help find a cure and fund scholarships for them. This passion will fuel Kevin as he runs mile, after mile, after mile in sub-freezing temperatures along the Dalton Highway.
The first thought was to do it in June, the anniversary of his foundation.
"The closer it got to my 50th birthday, the more I got to thinking, in June it's 70 degrees, no hardship, just 302 miles. In order to mirror what pediatric cancer fighters go through, it needs to be in winter. So, we chose winter," smiles Kline.
He has been training in a freezer in his garage - in a BOCS, as in "big ol' climate simulator". Northern Alaska is "in the dark" almost 24/7 this time of year, so he'll be without sunlight for more than a week, enduring feels-like temperatures of negative-30 degrees.
Through the decades, Kevin has helped brighten the lives of hundreds of families going through their darkest hour, that moment of a cancer diagnosis.
"You're scared, it's the unknown. It's what we're trying to show - the isolation, the hostility of the chemotherapy, the possible loss of limb, loss of life, all that stuff, all is enveloped in this run. But when pediatric cancer survivors ring that bell, they feel like they're on top of the world. We've got 2,000 kids' names in this backpack and that's where they're going," smiles Kline.
One of the many names in his backpack includes little honorary officer 758, Abigail Arias, who recently lost her battle to cancer. I'm honored to report that Kevin will also be carrying my son, Caleb's name and our family's cancer burden, in this special backpack. It alone weighs almost eight pounds. Kevin's taking them to what he calls the top of the world, near the Arctic Ocean, where his run will end in Deadhorse, Alaska on November 24, on Kevin's 50th birthday.
How did he train to do something so extreme and who and what will be with him? We'll answer all of those questions in the coming days. Until then, let's keep Kevin in our thoughts and prayers, as he sets out on this adventure.