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www.wmfd.com - Mansfield natives, Katherine "Kate" Failor and her brother Matthew, are participating in the Iditarod in Alaska on March 2 and they're dedicating the ride to a dear friend who died of esophageal cancer. }}" />

   
 
 
Iditarod tribute raises awareness about esophageal cancer

Story By: Brigitte Coles

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 2/19/2014

Mansfield natives, Katherine "Kate" Failor and her brother Matthew, are participating in the Iditarod in Alaska on March 2 and they're dedicating the ride to a dear friend who died of esophageal cancer.

The ride will be dedicated to the late Dan Berry of Lexington, who passed away in September. Dan left behind a wife, Taryn and three children.

Wanting to help, Kate Failor, 38, reached out to the Esophageal Cancer Action Network (ECAN), a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by increasing awareness about the link between heartburn and esophageal cancer.

"Tayrn told me about ECAN earlier this year, as she is interested in raising awareness so that other families can be spared from this disease," Kate said.

Kate also turned to her brother Matthew, 31, who now lives in Willow, AK, as a dog trainer, manager of Gold Rush Sled Dog Tours.

"Matthew knew that I had been raising money through Facebook for the Berry family and he offered to help me with awareness and support at the Iditarod," Kate said.

Matthew will be wearing a patch with both the esophageal cancer ribbon and initials "DB" to raise awareness about one of the nation's fastest increasing and deadliest cancers. After the race, Matthew will return the patch to the Berry family as a keepsake.

Kate will participate in the event's ceremonial start and will wear an ECAN t-shirt with "Heartburn Can Cause Cancer." Kate will ride in a tandem sled behind Matthew's sled. She will also distribute ECAN's Guide for Patients at the event.

Over 30,000 people from around the world will gather in Alaska to watch the 1,000 mile race from from Anchorage to Nome.

 "We are touched by Kate and Matthew's incredible tribute to their friend and absolutely thrilled with their efforts to share our message before such huge crowds where it can really make a difference and save lives," said ECAN President and CEO Mindy Mintz Mordecai, who founded the national non-profit organization after losing her husband to the disease in 2008.

For more information visit www.ecan.org.

   
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