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FITNESS CHALLENGE: Sweating To Fight Cancer

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Many people run or walk to benefit local charities. It's not uncommon to participate in a 5k. But, a five hour fitness challenge is a little more unique.

Sandy Cox and Sandy Robinson are ready to work up a sweat. Robinson says, "And then our two daughters are joining us."

The ladies are teaming up for a five hour fitness challenge at Fitness World Ankeny (South). Teams of four will compete in six challenges.

Organizer Craig Phinney says, "The challenges include pushups, planks, crunches, a Zumba class, group fitness class, a bootcamp, and a spin class."

Each exercise lasts thirty minutes, followed by a fifteen minute break. It's for people of all ages and fitness levels. Phinney says, "We're just asking folks to come out for that day, step out of their comfort zone, have fun."

The 5 hour fitness challenge isn't just for fun. It will also raise money for people battling cancer.

Trace Herman says, "December 5th I was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma, which is cancer of the esophagus."

Doctors told Herman he had stage four cancer. It had already spread to his liver, pelvis and back. He says, "Yeah, I went in with a stomach ache, and found out I had cancer."

He quit his job to go through chemo treatments. His wife's insurance covered him, but, they still had $40 co-pays, medicine and all of life's other expenses. That's where Phinney’s organization, Cops Against Cancer, helped. Phinney says, "With the hope of taking some of the stress off those families."

Phinney is a retired Ankeny Police officer. He and his wife started the organization two years ago, after his own battle. Phinney says, "2009 is when the thought came into play when I was diagnosed with Colorectal cancer."

So far, Cops Against Cancer has helped more than 250 families, including the Hermans. Trace says, "They've helped with a lot of the, I guess my monthly payment plan that I have worked out with the hospital, my chemo pills that I have to take daily."

The problem now is the group is out of money. And, they're hoping to raise funds with the help of people looking for a challenge. Cox says, "Oh, I'm probably a little bit nervous about the spin class."

But, working out for five hours is nothing compared to what people battling cancer deal with every day, and the two year breast cancer survivor should know. Cox says, "I've had personal experience with it, and I know it's a tough road to go through cancer."

The fitness challenge is this Saturday, February 22nd at Fitness World Ankeny South. It's from noon to 5 p.m. It costs $100 for a team of four, or $30 for an individual. You can register online by clicking here. Or you can register at 10:30 the day of the event.