Merville ultra-marathoner Jan Kotyk embarks on a fundraising run April 7, along with his brother Jared, behind the wheel. Photo supplied

Merville ultra-marathoner Jan Kotyk embarks on a fundraising run April 7, along with his brother Jared, behind the wheel. Photo supplied

Ultra-marathoner to run northern end of Island for Comox Valley charity

Merville ultra-marathoner Jan Kotyk is lacing up his runners and hitting the road for YANA.

“I am doing an ambitious fundraiser for YANA that will take place from April 7-9, possibly including April 10th,” he said. “I am planning to run from my house towards North Island from dawn till dusk each day.”

The schedule is to run in three-hour segments, with one-hour intermissions daily.

Kotyk has no target distance, and said he just hoped to cover as much distance as possible, “at a slow and steady pace.”

The fundraiser is his way of repaying YANA for services provided.

YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a local non-profit society that provides accommodation and funding to Comox Valley families who need to travel outside the community for medical treatment for a child under 19 or for a pregnant mother.

“This is an organization who has helped us financially to make cardiology appointments to the BC Children’s Hospital for our now seven-year-old son Asher,” said Kotyk.

Asher was diagnosed with pulmonary vein stenosis, but Kotyk said he is stable, and continues to defy the odds. He’s a strong, energetic, creative and “caring kiddo” who enjoys an active lifestyle.

“We visit the Heart Centre at B.C. Children’s Hospital yearly to monitor any changes. We have endless gratitude for YANA. They have, and continue to be, an incredible support system for my little fam and other families close to our hearts in the community. They have helped to relieve some of the financial stresses so that we can just focus on Asher during the out-of-town medical trips, which for us is usually two to three weekdays. These trips are emotional for all of us, so it is incredibly helpful having some relief in this area.”

He said YANA has also helped find resources for other areas of support.

Jan’s brother, Jared, will act as his support team by following in his RV, which will also be used as accommodations.

“My brother Jared… will wait till I am almost done with my segment before driving ahead in his RV to my next rest area. He will be doing this for safety reasons (such as) when there is no cell service. He will have provisions such as food, water, first aid, changes of clothes, etc.”

There are numerous ways to donate to Kotyk’s fundraiser.

All donation methods are detailed on the YANA website’s “DONATE” page (

“Basically as long as ‘Running North for YANA’ or ‘Jan Kotyk’ are mentioned with the donation we will add it to the tally,” said YANA executive director, Kelly Barnie.

YANA also accepts e-transfers at (set up for auto deposit). Again, ‘Running North for YANA’ or ‘Jan Kotyk’ noted in the e-transfer notes will ensure Kotyk’s fundraiser gets credit.

Cheques can also be dropped off or mailed to the YANA office at 102 – 2456 Rosewall Cres., Courtenay, B.C., V9N 8R9. Include the fundraiser name on the cheque memo.

Drop off cheques or cash at the office Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and note what the funds are for.

Comox Valley

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