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Marathon man closes in on $500,000 raised for children’s cancer charity

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#RunForLisa: from left, Matt Hansen, Christy Hansen, Mike Almskog, US-based supporter Una Hayden, who ran the race in a relay with husband Doug (not present), and Kevin Maloney, after they raised at least $65,000 for children’s cancer research (Photograph by Raymond Hainey)

A labour of love by an insurance executive who lost his wife to cancer is closing in on a half-million dollars raised for research into the disease.

Kevin Maloney, who has run in Bermuda events to raise funds for children’s cancer charity St Baldrick’s Foundation for six years in memory of late wife Lisa, said he was stunned and humbled by the support.

Mr Maloney added after he crossed the finish line of the Bermuda Half Marathon Derby today: “We’re very close to that big milestone and we’ve raised almost $65,000 this time.

“Our goal was $75,000 — we’re a little shy of that, but we expect more money will come in and we’re hoping to pass the half-million dollar mark next year.”

He added that more cash could come in from the Bermuda Day run because many donors also worked for companies that matched funds raised for charity, which could push the cash pot up to $75,000 or more.

Mr Maloney, a senior vice-president at Allied World in New York and a regular business visitor to the island, was speaking after he and three friends completed the race in about two hours and 45 minutes in their special #RunforLisa T-shirts.

Happy day: Kevin and Lisa Maloney on their wedding day (Photograph supplied)

He said Ms Maloney, who died in 2016, had been a big supporter of St Baldrick’s, which raises cash in Bermuda from a sponsored head shave every year.

Mr Maloney added: “What we have raised is beyond my wildest dreams. I know Lisa would have been so happy and proud and the support we have had from Bermuda is incredible.

“When I heard Bermudians chanting her name, it filled me with joy and I welled up with tears. Every year it seems to get bigger and better.”

Mr Maloney, 57, said he felt fine after the gruelling run, in hotter conditions than his usual January event.

But he added: “My wife carries me through this and we’re doing it for a really good thing — research into children’s cancer.”

Mr Maloney was joined in the race by friends Matt Hansen, who works for Allied World’s operation in Bermuda, his wife Christy, who works for insurance firm Aon on the island, and Michael Almskog, of insurance claims administration firm Envoy Specialty in New York.

Mr Almskog said: “The crowds were very nice as they always have been — they noticed our shirts.”

Mr Maloney, who ran in Stars and Stripes shorts and a US flag cape, said he and supporters normally ran in January’s Bermuda Triangle Challenge.

But the race was again cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 crisis, so they decided to take on the half marathon instead.

Mr Almskog said the team, although they missed out on trips to the island because of the pandemic, had managed to run similar distances on a remote basis to raise funds in the US.

He added: “I think we’re about $50,000 short of $500,000, which is an amazing total for six years.”

#RunForLisa: from left, Matt Hansen, Christy Hansen, Mike Almskog, US-based supporter Una Hayden, who ran the race in a relay with husband Doug, and Kevin Maloney after their half marathon fundraiser for children’s cancer research (Photograph by Raymond Hainey)

Ms Hansen, who led the team over the finishing line in her first half marathon, said: “Me and Matt have done the run for Lisa since 2018 and Kevin really brings the crowds along with him — he has such positive energy.

“I loved it. It’s such a good crowd. They really motivate you to keep going — and the music was great too.”

St Baldrick’s Foundation was created by John Bender, now Allied World Reinsurance’s chief executive officer, and friends Tim Kenny and Enda McDowell in New York in 1999.

The foundation’s first fundraiser was held in an Irish bar in the city on St Patrick’s Day a year later.

The charity has handed out $314 million in research grants since 2005 and its fundraising events, including its famous sponsored head shaves, are now held around the world.

Mr Maloney’s St Baldrick’s donation page can be found at www.stbaldricks.org/fundraisers/RunForLisa2022.

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Published May 28, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated May 28, 2022 at 7:58 am)

Marathon man closes in on $500,000 raised for children’s cancer charity

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