The Korab-Miller family have been great supporters of the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund. It all started when Ben Korab decided to fundraise to honor his sister, Nadine, who is currently battling osteosarcoma. Ben incentivized donors by “rucking” in Madison, Wisconsin. Shortly after, Nadine’s parents, David and Ruth Miller, made a significant donation to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.
When Nadine Korab was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a deadly bone cancer, her brother Ben learned that osteosarcoma is more commonly a pediatric-centric diagnosis. Ben was shocked to learn that only 4% of government funding goes to research pediatric cancer. After seeing the toll it was taking on his sister Nadine, Ben was inspired to support children with this cancer and show his sister that she is not alone by starting a “rucking” fundraiser.
Rucking is a weighted hike and is commonly practiced in military training. Ben was inspired by a man who raised money for victims of Hurricane Katrina by rucking and wanted to apply the same idea to raise funds for osteosarcoma research in honor of his sister. Ben’s ruck was 26.2 miles, carrying 45 pounds in a backpack, in the dead of Midwest winter, representing the load that Nadine carries every day.
We asked Ben about his family’s experience with osteosarcoma, and he said “Osteosarcoma is, like many other forms of cancer and disease, an overwhelming situation. It is common to feel alone, mentally exhausted, and to feel stuck on one’s path to remission. Creating a foundation of strength and love helps each person feel that they are supported. Nadine’s support system, made up of her husband Steve, their kids, parents, sisters, and friends all aided in different ways along the journey.”
Ben was thrilled to see the support Nadine was receiving from the community and the support for his fundraiser. During the ruck, a few of Ben’s friends chose to brave the elements and walk a few miles with him. The community also came together and cheered him on during and after the ruck. Ben said that seeing so many people come together to support his family made the ruck a whole lot easier.
When it came to deciding where the money he raised would go, Ben and Nadine chose the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund. Ben and Nadine were impacted by Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s mission and felt confident that their donation would make a lasting impact on research, and in the lives of many families.
Ben also gave us some great advice to share with anyone who may be considering starting their own fundraiser in honor of a loved one. Ben stated that the hardest part about fundraising is asking people for money. His advice is: “Tell people how much the fundraiser means to you, and find a creative way to get the word out. If you like crafting, maybe each person who donates gets a small handmade token for donating. If you are active on social media, come up with fun campaigns like posting a fact about osteosarcoma every day, or completing a challenge for specific dollar milestones. If you’re active, find an activity you’re passionate about and raise money (and maybe convince some family and friends to join you along the way). Asking people for money isn’t something most people are good at, but if you show family and friends your passion through word of mouth and actions, it will make all the difference.”
It has been almost a year and a half since Ben’s fundraiser began. Thanks to friends, family, colleagues, and kind strangers, nearly $30,000 was raised to honor Nadine. Ben has trusted CCRF with the money he raised in support of the mission to fund innovative and out of the box treatments for children living with osteosarcoma. Nadine’s parents, David and Ruther Miller, also donated generously to support the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Foundation.
On behalf of Children’s Cancer Research Fund, a big thank you to the Korab-Miller Family and everyone who supported their efforts along the way. These kinds of stories are what continue to bring us closer to a world without childhood cancer.