Describing himself as someone who “isn’t really a fan of running,” Jake Ward has raised over $48,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation by, surprisingly, doing exactly that.
In 2013 Jake began running for NBCF, not with a 10km fun run as many might, but with a 110km, single day run around his home suburbs in Melbourne. He raised over $8000 with his efforts, and quickly set his sights even higher.
In October 2014 Jake embarked on his next adventure – a 16 day run from Sydney back to his home in Cranbourne, Melbourne – a distance of more than 1000kms! Taking on this run took months of training, planning and preparation. Not to mention fundraising to reach the $25,000 target Jake had set himself. Describing his motivation for raising funds for breast cancer research, Jake says, “my cousin Samantha lost her battle with breast cancer in 2006. Since then I made a personal vow to myself that I would do all that I could to turn the tide and begin winning the battle against breast cancer.”
And he has done so much! Jake exceeded his own fundraising expectations with the Sydney to Melbourne run, raising over $40,000. Jake’s passion and determination to achieve his goals inspired a great deal of generosity and support from those who heard about his efforts. Every day during the run, when Jake updated his specially created Facebook page, he received an onslaught of comments, likes and messages of support from the public – from people he’d met on the road and others who had simply heard about what he was doing. “The highlight of the trip was meeting some very amazing and unique people, being able to share my story with so many new people, getting messages from all over the world…and of course finishing,” Jake says.
Jake is keen to help others understand how empowering it is to challenge yourself to achieve a goal for something you care about, and what a positive difference it can make to your life. As a motivational speaker, he hopes to have the opportunity to inspire other NBCF fundraisers and runners with his experiences and knowledge.