Roslyn resident Yariv Kafri has battled a case of lung cancer by taking to the countryside and engaging in long distance running. Furthermore, he is the founder of Supportersize, a nonprofit organization that organizes outdoor events and physical activities for people living with cancer and their families and friends. Supportersize’s mission is to spread strength, hope and joy in spite of cancer. The organization’s monthly events range from sports challenges for veteran runners to short hikes for beginner athletes.
In August, Kafri will be running in the 2015 TransRockies three-day trail run in Colorado. At that event, he will run 58 miles with a 8,600 ft. elevation gain. Undergoing treatment at the same time, the training has been challenging but with the support of his sponsors and trainer, Kafri continues to battle and push through. Meanwhile, he’s also helping raise funds for Mass General Hospital, Boston.
The race takes place from Tuesday, Aug. 11 through Thursday, Aug. 13, from Buena Vista to Camp Hale, CO. This is the 6th annual RUN3 at the TransRockies Run. Runners can enjoy the spectacular view of the Colorado Rockies while running for good causes. As befitting the three-day run, the race will feature meals, tent accommodations, luggage transfers and hot showers along the way.
“I set two goals for myself,” Kafri told The Roslyn News.”One, is to raise money for lung cancer research and inspire and motivate fellow cancer survivors to incorporate exercise into their healing process. Living with cancer as an athlete prompted me to start Supportersize, a nonprofit organization dedicated to motivate, inspire, and enable people who live with cancer to be physically active.
“I am able to continue my active lifestyle due to groundbreaking research performed at Massachusetts General Hospital which had the most discoveries and identified the most treatments for lung cancer.” he continued. “I want to support this vital research and help discover additional treatments for patients who develop resistance to current targeted therapies, which in turn allows lung cancer survivors prolong and enjoy high quality lifestyle.”
Prior to his illness, Kafri was already an accomplished athlete. Not only was he a runnner, yogi, surfer, skier and soccer player, he also competed in over 30 Olympic and Ironman triathlons. Ten days after undergoing surgery for brain cancer, he was off, with his doctor’s okay, on a 30-mile bike ride along Long Island Sound. Kafri felt energized by the bike ride, and he resolved to remain active. As Kafri’s recovery progressed, he found his high level of physical activity not only a boon to his own health, but an inspiration to others living with cancer. That’s when he decided to establish Supportersize.
“Yariv has created a place for anyone who had or has cancer to get out there and remember what they are fighting for,” said Jody Lichenstein, a kidney cancer survivor and first-time Supportersize hiker. “There are many things I’ll think I can’t do with my kids, but to see other survivors out there, so strong and fit, was and is truly inspiring.”
Kafri’s run through the Colorado Rockies should inspire more great efforts from not just the runner, but his many fans.