About Row4aCure

There are two things that everyone who knows me well will tell you: first, I am the least athletic guy on the face of this earth, and second, I am very passionate about helping support childhood cancer research. Last year I embarked on a nine-day adventure to climb the second largest mountain in a desolate region of the Sierra Nevadas. This endeavor took me out of my comfort zone, but the constant training leading up to the climb prepared me both physically and mentally. In the end, I climbed a total of 36 miles, including 18 miles in 22 hours from basecamp to the summit on the final summit day followed by a strenuous nine-mile climb back to the base. This adventure allowed me to raise almost $6K for pediatric cancer research to support the work of Dr. Mary Beth Madonna at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

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I woke up one morning a couple months ago with a crazy and unplanned thought in my head—I would row across Lake Michigan in a solo man-powered boat from Michigan to Chicago to help raise the funds necessary to keep this research lab going. Not the greatest thought of my life, but still, it could be the next great adventure. I knew nothing about boating, rowing, water or even the distance. To top it off, the last time I was on a boat, I was unbelievably seasick. What was I thinking? I mentioned this idea to my wife, Rafaela, when I woke that morning, who confirmed my thoughts: I was crazy. Maybe I am, but I know that overcoming challenges I create like this is nothing in comparison to what the kids affected by neuroblastoma go through. Each day, they wake up sick, struggling to live, fighting for their lives, yet they are all so happy, unaware and innocent. They do not know a life without cancer. They do not know the battle ahead of them. They do not realize that one day, there will be a cure.

After months of research, I realized that although this would be the most strenuously physical and mentally exhausting goal of my life, I was determined to make it happen. Lake Michigan from east to west is approximately 65 miles, and I would need to row consecutively at a pace of 2-3 mph for 24 hours. Keep in mind that only a couple years ago, I could hardly walk up three flights of stairs. Regardless of the physical limitations, I had determination. Last year proved to me that if I put my mind toward a physical goal, I can achieve it, and half the battle is mental. Then again, maybe this is mental.

Since the inception of this crazy idea, I have started training in the most basic form I know how—first learning to row. What did I get myself into? I am in over my head, in more ways than one.

Over the next few months leading up to a September departure, I will be pushing my body to the limits and learning as much about boats, Lake Michigan and endurance as is humanly possible. When the day comes, I will set off on the row and arrive in Chicago one day later, proud, accomplished and knowing that I contributed, in what little ways I know how, to raise money to help find a cure for the worst form of childhood cancer.

The funds raised will go directly to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Specifically, they will help fund the amazing cancer research of Dr. Mary Beth Madonna. Her research focuses on neuroblastoma, expanding the knowledge of chemotherapy resistance and identifying potential targets for therapy. Neuroblastoma, as you may have guessed, is the most aggressive and deadly form of childhood cancer. Her research, although specific to this strain of cancer, can directly affect and correlate to other, more well-known cancers. I could go into more details about the actual research, but again, I’d be in way over my head. Take a look at the laboratory webpage for more information: Dr. Mary Beth Madonna

Throughout this journey, I’ll share more information about her research and the good that is coming of it. Stay tuned for what I hope will be an inspirational journey of conquering one’s fears and overcoming obstacles. I hope to provide some comedy and humor along the way.


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My name is Jake Beckley. In September of this year, I am solo-rowing across Lake Michigan for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. I am using this opportunity to bring awareness to, and raise money for, Neuroblastoma cancer research. This is the most aggressive form of childhood cancer and one of the four least funded childhood cancers in the United States.

The row will be a continuous 24 hours and a distance of 65 miles. For someone who is not athletic and not in great shape, this will be a difficult yet rewarding challenge. I know that what I am doing is nothing in comparison to what these kids with Neuroblastoma go through each day.

Thank for your time and consideration in helping the cause and helping kids with cancer. If you are interested in learning more, or making a contribution, please reach out to Jacob Beckley via email at sponsorship@row4acure.com.

Jacob Beckley

View Sponsorship Options


Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is a charitable 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that depends primarily on philanthropic support to advance our programs, services and research to help more children and families in need. The future of Lurie Children’s is built on the generous spirit of donors who support the hospital in a variety of ways.

Your support will ensure that Chicago’s children receive the very best medical care through access to the finest specialists and most advanced scientific research in a family-centered environment conducive to healing.

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Current Sponsors

Throughout this journey, a lot of individuals and companies have helped me in many, many ways. Some of this support has come in the form of financial contributions, and others in the form of services. Your help is very much appreciated and is going to help such a great cause. Below is a list of those supporters.

Platinum – $10,000

Sponsorship Available


Gold – $5,000

Fusion92 – Where Different Works

Additional Sponsorship Available


Silver – $2,500

Janell Elise Arroyo – Personal Training
HiFi Fitness – Chicago Fitness Studio


Bronze – $500+

Kristina O’Krongley
Sarah Lemenager Barnard
Mark Staehely Pediatric Cancer Foundation
Debbie Van Ooteghem
Jonathan Dean
Diane Eastman
Matt & Debbie Murphy
Lindsay Broderick
Colin & Julie Angus – Angus Rowboats
Tom Patrevito
Timothy Ocasek
Terry Cockrell
Sahana & Sid Pillai
Amy,Chandler and Zach Kelly
Kraig Kleeman


Friends – $100+

Rich & Jayne Lindgren
Patrick Read Johnson
John Knitter
Paul & Pamela Bertrand
Mark Jovic
Nancy and Jerry Weber
Kathleen & Dan Passarelli
JC Guerrero
Marjorie Koestner
Frank Nicodem
Marjorie Koestner
Frank Nicodem
Meghan McCarthy
Patricia Powell
Paul Semper
J Paul Lennon
Phil Bellini
Sanjin Cancar
Claudia and Kyle Zellmann
Carolyn Zellmann
Danelle Lux
Michele & Ben Beckley
Karen Rizzo
Paulette Bertrand
John Capaul
Caleb & Mary Henry
Adam Schreier
Henry and Karen de Fiebre
Dave Clark
John & Kathleen Bychowski
Kate Booth
Jim & Joan Bychowski
Mark Bychowski
Carol (Bychowski) Knowlton
Kathy Efrusy
Ken Miller
Steven Bychowski
Jack Bychowski
William Maw
Dean Bushala
Brian Krajewski
Kevin & Melissa Bujak
Nancy Costello
Amy Bodenner
Cory Beyer
Melanie  Koreman
Tom Zanoni
Pamela Newman
Eric Nanney
Jack Van Ooteghem
Aquaknox Marine
Sarah Rowan
Donna & Rory Lent
Spring Weaver
Donna & Rory Lent
Kate Booth Karen Rossman
precisioneffect (Agency)
Jerry and Nancy Weber
Viki Lezon
Tim Boyce



Elizabeth Burke
Josh and Diana Locker
Michael Huss
Jack Bychowski
Phil & Carla Jahnke
Ken Kump
Dahlia Hanin
Lee & Kevin Haas
Nancy Murray Victoria Lezon
Kathleen Cummings
Mike & Jeanette Freeman
Kelly Duff
Stephen Ferrin Nick Lamberis
Ken Hofmann
Blake Farrington
Antonio Petrelli
Rachel Holtrop
Ryan Galloy
Matt Carson
Gabi Koreman
Vanessa Priebe
Harrison Lasser
Michael Madonna
Michelle Kerfman
Joyce Koreman
Sue and Mike Beckley
Sophia Koreman
Brad Wiley
Alison Luebbert
Jeremy Berghorst
Clara Lee
Carolyn King Sullivan
Cindy Tacone
Gary Stanley
Judy Dann
Roy Calvert
Anna Smith
Dominic Tyson
Penelope Thompsen
Andrew Hattersley
Thomas Njegovan
Ellen Shannon
Ryan Lent
Judith Youman
Alda & Antonio DeCristofaro
Greg Boltz
Katie Murray
Susan Murray
Julie Angus
Robert Brightly
Julie Runnels
Tina Martinez
Pat and Bob Bertola
Joan Brantley
Jax Koreman
Bella Koreman
Steve Topp
Jim and Joyce Alvert
Rose Jaeger
Kevin Pope
Monique Madonna
Ron & Melissa Sheppard
Hank & Magdalena Chen
Curt Vaught
Konezny Family
Jamie Faulkner
Andrea Pluchino
Gary Stanley
Jeanne Shaw
Christina Downey
Teena Austin
James Heyer
Mark Linnerud
Dave Elgass
Kristen Molnar
Regina Hoyt
Kevin Wright
Kathleen Wright
Janet Bauer
Seth Kressmann
Esther Waayenberg
Beth Newkirk
John Fitzpatrick
Grace Mourey & Jesse Salzman
Joe Lopez
Felice Indindoli
Liz Kay
Mary Beth Murphy
Jeffrey Dauzat
Kathy Carino
Chris Brown
Bruce Nicoll
Diane Sinico
John Tran
Andrew Green
Susan Wiencek
Dino Janis
Jenny Price
Patricia Powell
Ryan Winterbottom



If you are interested in personally donating, please visit www.gofundme.com/row4acure. And, if you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, please contact sponsors@row4acure.com.