On Satuday, September 9, 2017, at 9:30 am, a truly spectacular occurrence can be witnessed within the banks of the Hudson river: Hundreds of kayakers will descend down the river from Stillwater, NY to Halfmoon, NY to raise awareness and funds for mesothelioma research, education, support, and advocacy. This 8-mile paddle takes between 3 and 3.5 hours and is open to all levels.
Mark Wells, the event’s organizer, started Kayaking for Meso in 2011 as a way to raise awareness of mesothelioma, following his daughter’s diagnosis. That year, two other people joined him for a total of three kayakers. Since those humble beginnings, Mark has grown the event considerably.
“I originally started this event because of my daughter, to raise awareness of mesothelioma. Now it’s grown into an event that many survivors attend to get together and catch up. They’re all a part of it as we go down the river,” he told us recently.
Part of the appeal of this event is that regardless of level, all kayakers get together in the three locks along the Hudson, which require that everyone be inside before they can open to the next portion of the river. This provides plenty of opportunities to socialize and enjoy the scenery. Also, to add to the entertainment, at the end of the ride, the event provides a celebration with food and refreshments, where attendees can rest, have fun, and meet one another.
“My favorite part is when we have over 200 kayaks in the locks and they’re letting the water out and everybody is anticipating the doors opening,” he says.
“But besides being a great cause, it’s a fun event from beginning to end,” he adds.
We hope you can join Mark in this year’s Kayaking for Meso!