Local marathoner aims to raise $15K for children's cancer research

Kevin Koke is training for the Boston Marathon, where he will run 26 miles in honor of 26 children. (Photo: WTHR)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A central Indiana man is using his feet to help children battling cancer.

Kevin Koke is preparing for the Boston Marathon next month. It is his second time running the race, but this time he’ll have extra motivation leading up to it.

“My extra inspiration come race day is running every mile, all 26 miles for a different child,” said Koke.

Koke is trying to find 26 children are or have battled cancer to share their stories. In addition to raising awareness, he is also trying to raise money.

If he can raise $5,000 his employer, Edrington Spirits, will pitch in another $10,000. However, if Koke reaches $15,000, Edrington will contribute $25,000. All of the money will go to the Caroline Symmes Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research.

Caroline Symmes was five years old when she died from Wilms Tumor Disease in 2009.

“It gives me chills even now just speaking to you about it,” said Libby Symmes, Caroline's mother, when she found out Kevin wanted to raise money for their endowment.

The Symmes family started the foundation to help keep other families from the pain they experienced. They hope any money raised can help provide better treatment options for children once they get diagnosed.

“Our initial thought was okay we have to start living again. We have to start celebrating our daughter. We have to start making sure other kids don’t have the same outcomes. We have to do everything we need to do,” said Libby Symmes.

You can donate to Kevin’s fundraiser, Running for Riley, here. The Boston Marathon is April 15.

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