LookwhatWOW! President Completes Ironman 70.3, Raises Money to Fight Cancer
Nineteen-year promotional products industry veteran Charles G. Duggan II, MAS, president of lookwhatWOW! in St. Louis, Mo., put his endurance to the test when he completed the Ironman 70.3 Florida event on May 20. Held at Lake Eva Park in Haines City, Florida, the race began with a freshwater 1.2-mile swim in Lake Eva, followed by a challenging 56-mile bike course through rural Citrus Orchards in Polk County and a scenic 13.1-mile run course around the lake and throughout the park.
Duggan's participation in the event gave him the opportunity to raise funds to fight cancer-a cause very important to him, as his sister Katie has been fighting skin cancer for 10 years. During that time, she's had more than 20 tumors removed (the most recent procedure on March 30 removed four tumors from her chest) and gone through reconstructive surgery to her lip, forehead, and chin.
He chose to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation by joining Team LIVESTRONG and had an initial goal of raising $2,000. His final tally was $2,230.05, elevating him to one of the Top 10 Fundraisers for the event and giving him the opportunity to meet Lance Armstrong in person. Overall, Team LIVESTRONG Florida raised more than $140,000 to fight cancer.
While Duggan now lives by the motto "No Stress, No Worries, Keep Active," this wasn't always the case. Just 10 short years ago, he was overweight, out of shape and had just lost his mother to a sudden heart attack. Ironically, it was Katie who helped him turn his life around through fitness.
"My sister, Katie, was worried about my health and feared that 'I'd be the next victim,'" Duggan explained. "She bought me a bike for my birthday, hoping that might give me some motivation to exercise. Then, she convinced me to train for my first marathon with her while fundraising for the American Heart and Stroke Association in memory of our mother and in dedication to our father who had recently suffered a disabling stroke. We 'limped' our way through the training and managed to reach our fundraising goal. Thanks to the training program, I was finally in shape and feeling much better about all aspects of my life."
Unfortunately, that's when things for the Duggan family were about the change again. "The day before we were to leave for the 2002 Kona Hawaii Marathon, Katie and I were sitting at the Kirkwood Pool when she received a call on her cell phone from the dermatologist," Duggan said. "That's when we found out her biopsy had come back positive for skin cancer. Katie has made such a tremendous impact on my life by helping me focus on my heath, and I've now completed 75 races-and am still going. Through participating with Team LIVESTRONG, I can show my support for her and all other cancer survivors to help them face the challenges of cancer head-on. May we all continue to LIVESTRONG!"
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