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Running from Albany to Buffalo to raise money for colon cancer

Posted at 7:20 AM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 08:04:14-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Western New York runner is on a Buffalo Strong mission to run the entire distance of the Erie Canal in an effort to raise awareness of colorectal cancer.

Martin Pasternak will kick off his 361 mile trek Sunday, and plans to run all next week. He's doing it to celebrate his cousin Kevin Hays who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer seven years ago at the age of 28. 7 Eyewitness News has introduced you to Kevin before - the East Aurora man has three kids, and works tirelessly to encourage others to be aware of their bodies and get any suggested cancer screenings.

Pasternak will run to Buffalo over the course of seven days to help support Kevin's non-profit, the Buffalo Colon Corps. Over the past few months people have been encouraged to join in on the "Pain in the Canal Challenge" where they would run or walk 15 or 30 miles per week.

Pasternak will run through areas in Albany, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo - and is asking anyone who is interested to come cheer him on.

"It's really cool to see the positive impact and to give a little bit of that hope that Kevin spreads to people who need it," he said.

He says his goal is to raise $50,000 in his cousin's name; so far, he says he has raised a little over $6,000.

"If he is not going to stop, I'm not going to stop," said Pasternak.

You can donate to the Buffalo Colon Corps - and track Pasternak's run here. He'll finish running in Buffalo next weekend.