A local man is working to help find a cure for cancer by putting his own body through some pretty rigorous challenges. By competing in triathlons, among other activities, Michael Klonsky hopes to raise $100,000 for the Mass. General Hospital Cancer Center in 2012.
"It's not going to be an easy goal to hit by any stretch, but it's a nice round number," said Klonsky, who is also the founder of Praesidium Wealth Management, which is based in Danvers.
In a phone conversation with Patch, Klonsky reported that he had recently completed the New York City triathlon, which boasts an olympic-sized course with a 1,500 meter swim, a 24.8 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run. The 50-year old Lynnfield resident said that he started triathlon competition last summer. "I did one. I got the bug," said Klonsky. Later this year, he is also considering triathlons in New Hampshire and Texas.
Klonsky was a competitive swimmer during his school years and was a college track/cross country runner, but he said that he had never been a cyclist before taking up triathlon. He also noted that he is hardly alone in his enthusiasm for this sport, reporting that in New York City, some 4,000 participants took up all the available spots in about two hours. He believes that people are simply drawn to the challenge and to the enjoyable experience that a triathlon offers. "People do it because they love it, and they want to test themselves," said Klonsky, adding that many people are also realizing that they would "rather do this than go lay in the Bahamas for a week."
While Klonsky is enthusiastic about triathlons, they aren't the only means through which he hopes to meet his fundraising goal. He reports that he is also looking at assembling a team for the region's Tough Mudder competition, which is a 10-12 mile run through mud and obstacles that were designed by the British Special Forces.
A Family Connection
Klonsky is no stranger to fundraising on behalf of cancer-related causes. In an article that ran back in December, 2010, Lynnfield Patch spoke with Michael, his wife Toni, and their friend Sheila Craffey about their work organizing the annual Lymphomathon event around Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. Shortly before the 2011 Lymphomathon, that website also ran a photo and story about Brownie Troop 62032 at Huckleberry Hill Elementary School donating $150 of the $400 they raised selling cookies to the event.
Toni Hurton Klonsky has been battling lymphoma for four or five years now. Soon after her diagnosos, Michael ran in the Falmouth Road Race and raised $50,000 for lymphoma research in that event alone. In 2010, he was even named to Mass General's list of "The One Hundred" individuals taking leadership roles in the battle against cancer.
Michael and Toni are not involved with the Lymphomathon event at this point. Michael had great praise for the event and its organizers, and he said that it seems that the event is likely to stay in Wakefield.
For more about Klonsky's efforts or to make a donation, visit his fundraising page on the Mass. General website, which includes a two-minute video of him discussing what motivates him.