January 15, 2016 - 7:00 AM
KELOWNA – A UBC Okanagan student is preparing to run across the island of Haiti next month to raise money for the earthquake stricken country.
Paige Marzinzik is a fifth-year Human Kinetics student. For the last few years, she and her mother have volunteered at a Haitian medical clinic that six years later is still grappling with the effects of a major earthquake in 2010.
Last year Marzinzik learned of a new fundraising effort where volunteers run the 350 kilometres across the island.
‘“I can do that!’ was the first thought that went through my brain,” Marzinzik says. “That’s something I can do.”
The run is organized by an American non-profit group called Team Tassy, named after a young boy with a cancerous lump on his face who happened to catch a ride in the same pick-up truck as run organizer Ian Rosenberger in 2010. Rosenberger began a fundraising campaign that brought Tassy to America for life-saving surgery.
The run became an annual event with funds raised going to help provide health care and education to Haitian families.
UBC Okanagan Human Kinetics student Paige Marzinzik high fives a young boy during her last visit to Haiti.
Image Credit: Contributed
Marzinzik, a full-time student and trainer with the UBCO Heat women’s volleyball team, says she thought the run sounded like a fun way to give aid to a country she has come to love.
“I was raised with the philosophy that if you can go and help, then you go and help,” she says.
Run Across Haiti starts in the northern tip of the island and concludes at southern end of Haiti. Runners cover between 15 and 30 km each day with a double marathon - more than 84 km - to the finish line on the final day.
This will be her third trip to Haiti, but her first time participating in the run, according to a media release sent by the university.
“Port-au-Prince is such a poor, poor place,” she says. “It makes you grateful for everything that we have here in Canada. And I know, when the days get challenging, I’ll keep on going because every step I take is for someone else.”
She has set up a Crowdrise fundraising page and plans to leave for Haiti on Feb. 18.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016