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After her best friend's mom died of the disease, pro skydiving coach Kate Cooper-Jensen, 49, of Copenhagen, started hosting jumps every few years. The goal? To break world records in women's formation skydiving and raise money for the City of Hope research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Her last record jump, in 2009, raised more than a half-million dollars.
From September 13 through October 26, Iris Klein, 35, a former marketing manager for a German fitness company, is biking Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in honor of a friend she lost to breast cancer. She will also hold workout events at 10-plus gyms across the country and hopes to raise $10,000 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.
Ten years ago Debbie Bang, 50, of Oakville, Canada, started an annual long-distance swim in Ontario's Severn River. Thirty people participated in the 7.8K, 12.8K, and 25.6K swims last July; the nonprofit has donated more than $130,000 to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2010.