I Ran the World’s Coldest Marathon for MSK Kids

Any marathon is grueling, but the one I ran in April of 2014 alongside 47 competitors through snow, ice, and -30 Celsius wind chills was something else entirely. “Why did you do it?”, you might ask. I ran this race because I am passionate about increasing support for childhood cancer.

MSK Donor David Friezo
David Friezo

I was really lucky because the company I work for, Lydian Advisory Group, was completely on board when I told them about the UVU North Pole Marathon. They agreed to match the first $100,000 I raised from getting people to sponsor me for the race. Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without the hundreds of generous MSK supporters who helped me reach my goal.
 
A family committed to families
My brothers and I became active fundraisers for MSK way back in the early 1990s, when we started running with Fred's Team — named in honor of Fred Lebow, co-founder of the New York City Marathon. We were so inspired by Fred’s dedication to fighting cancer that we established the Friezo Family Support Fund.
 
The fund is dedicated to childhood cancer support — helping families with costs like housing, transportation, prosthetic devices, and prescription drugs while their children are being treated at MSK. The UVU North Pole Marathon was a great opportunity for us to expand our dedication to a new expression of support, a cancer race.
 
“I ran alongside 47 competitors from 20 countries at the top of the world. Through snow, ice, and -30 Celsius wind chills — I persevered.”
 
Pediatric cancer comes with substantial costs. The emotional price is clear, but there can be less-obvious financial struggles as well. The Friezo Family Support Fund helps to defray certain expenses families often incur while their children are undergoing treatment. For example, many families may need to stay close to MSK during treatment, creating an ongoing need for short- and long-term housing. In addition, sometimes one or even both parents have to stop working while a child is being treated. As a result, they can face severe hardships during what is already an arduous time in their lives. The Fund provides a way for MSK to help alleviate some financial concerns for these families.
 
The race is over — but you can still help MSK kids.
You can still donate to pediatric cancer to help kids and their families by supporting the Friezo Family Support Fund at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. While the race has ended, there are still children with pediatric cancer who need our help.
 
As always, thank you for your invaluable support. We couldn’t do it without you.
 
— David Friezo