Jul 10, 2019 10:00 AM


Chet Budhathoki | Kandi Rasmussen

Because cancer effects almost everyone, whether they have it, had it, or know someone who does, many want to contribute to the fight but may not know how to. Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF) provides a way to help for those who aren’t doctors, researchers, or don’t have lots of money through their Huntsman Heroes (HH) program.

The HH program provides the opportunity for interested individuals to raise money for cancer research through donations they receive for running, cycling and skiing events.  Jen Murano, Director of Events at HCF, explained, “The Huntsman Heroes program offers an avenue for the community to ‘do something.’ They run or ride in honor of someone, they dedicate their time, their efforts and the dollars they raise to say, we are not going to sit back, but we are going to act and we can be part of the solution.”

Chet Budhathoki and Kandi Rasmussen both chose to run in the 2019 Boston Marathon representing HCF.

chet budhathoki after running the boston marathon

Budhathoki’s wife, who works at Huntsman Cancer Institute, is his main motivation and why he has an interest to raise funds for cancer research. He recently found out their three-year-old nephew in Nepal has cancer, Budhathoki said, “Knowing that cancer doesn’t discriminate age, gender, race, ethnicity and boarder, it helps me to understand from a different perspective that we need to take action against it as a whole. It’s a combined effort and no one should feel it’s a solo battle.”

After signing up for a race, HH does not leave the athlete to prepare alone. Weekly training sessions are provided by experienced coaches for those who would like to train with other HCF heroes.

kandi rassmussen after running the boston marathon

The day Rasmussen signed up for HH, she knew who she was running for, Tyler Robinson, a student who passed away from cancer earlier that month. Later she identified the true reason she wanted to help, “My brother had fought a glioblastoma and died quickly years before I started to run for Tyler. I didn’t know it then, but running for Tyler had helped a deep sadness I had for the loss of my brother.”

Before the Boston marathon each runner raises at least $500 for HCF. That money is earmarked for new and innovative ideas that haven’t yet received funding.

“There are so many of us that have had loss and had someone fighting, so the message was real,” Rasmussen said about raising the money, “The Huntsman name helped with trust. I knew and explained to friends and family, what that money would do. I simply said that all of it went to research, and that meant hope. I am very passionate that this will happen, so I continue. I am only one person, but sometimes all it takes is the belief of one person spreading the word.”

Both Rasmussen and Budhathoki plan to run as Huntsman Heroes in the future “I believe in science, and Huntsman is right there with cutting edge research,” Budhathoki said. “I’m sure cancer will be a long battle and in order for us to win this battle, we will need to be consistent with what we are good at.”

Giving