Running for a cause

Aaron Krause • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:53 PM

Willard City Schools teacher Shannon Wyckoff admits she’s overweight and out of shape.

She never thought she’d run 50 miles in a month, let alone a week.

But she feels if pedestrians in Anchorage, Alaska — total strangers to a family she knows well — risked their lives to save those family members in a plane crash, the least she can do is walk to raise money for their medical needs.

That’s what Wyckoff, her family members and friends will do from Aug. 29 through Sept. 4 to raise money  for the Cavner family of Alaska.

They’ve called their 50-mile fundraiser “Miles for Myles” after 4-year-old Myles, who died in the accident. Other family members suffered multiple injuries. Wyckoff said investigators are not sure what caused the crash.

 News of the fundraiser has spread throughout the country. Its Web site is http://www.wix.com/MrsWyckoff/MI....

Is there a monetary goal?

“We would love to hit $10,000; that would be monstrous,” Wyckoff said.

The story made national news for several days and people throughout the country have picked up on it.

Locally, the New London Cross Country team heard about the news, since the coach’s wife and Wyckoff are facebook friends. Wyckoff lives in New London.

She said about 30 to 40 team members will run with Wyckoff, and she’s been training with them daily.

Team members will take pledges and donations for "Miles for Myles" and will be finishing during the Firelands Festival 5K run on Sept. 9.

“We’re just so tickled the New London Cross Country team has joined us,” she said. “Its amazing how encouraging these kids are.”

Wyckoff began training about three weeks ago, running with the team every morning, averaging five miles a day.

Next month, the Willard teacher will travel to Alaska to train in downtown Anchorage for a few days. Then, she’ll run the trails and paths around the Cavner family’s home.

On June 1, Preston, Stacie, Myles and Hudson Cavner and Rachel Zeintek left Merrell Field in Anchorage to fly home to Dice Bay. Shortly after takeoff, their plane crashed in downtown Anchorage. The six-seat aircraft struck a hotel roof, power lines and landed by a used car dealership — all at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday during rush hour traffic. The adjacent four lane highway was loaded with Anchorage citizens who quickly ran to the passengers’ aid.

 Upon landing, the plane caught fire on the right side and the left wing had broken and fell over the door. Good Samaritans held the door up while some of them pulled as many people out as they could. Rachel and two-year old Hudson were handed out first. Preston, the pilot and father, was pulled free and next came Stacie. She was stuck and couldn't release her seat belt.  After the first explosion, they were able to pull her out after cutting her seat belt. At that point, the fire was so intense they were unable to pull Myles Cavner, 4 year old son, free from the plane. 

He was later pronounced dead at the scene. 

Stacie, Preston and Hudson, 2, were each flown to the Portland, Ore. Burn Center, where they are still receiving treatment.  Sixteen-year-old Rachel was flown to a Seattle, Wash. burn center, where she is still receiving treatment. 

Stacie has had both legs amputated at the knee, four fingers from her right hand and the tips of her fingers from her left.  Preston has 12 metal plates in his face due to broken bones, holes burned thru both ankles as well as third degree burns throughout his body.

Hudson has had half his foot amputated, has burns on the majority of his body and a severe burn to the back of his head.  Rachel has had the tips of her toes amputated, third degree burns to both legs, holes burned thru her ankles and third degree burns on one arm.


If you wish to donate to the Cavner family’s medical bills, visit http://www.wix.com/MrsWyckoff/MI.... You can also learn more information about the family and the crash at the site.

Recommended for You