Cancer survivor runs 4 marathons in 24 hours to raise money for rescued dogs

Dan Egeler raised $133,000 for two local nonprofits focused on dog rescue.

In support of two local nonprofits that focus on rescuing dogs, 59-year-old cancer survivor Dan Egeler ran four marathons in 24 hours this past weekend.

“I just wanted to give you a quick update in terms of how the race went. I did survive,” Egeler, of Dexter, Michigan, told “World News Tonight.” “You know what made it worthwhile was the support I got from all the people during the race.”

Egeler’s initial goal was to raise $50,000 for local nonprofits “Bark Nation” and “Waggin’ Tails Dog Rescue,” but by the time he crossed the finish line this weekend at a total time of 23 hours, 44 minutes, Egeler had raised $133,000.

He said he was inspired to help when he noticed traditional fundraisers were being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Egeler said he was inspired to help when he noticed that the COVID-19 pandemic had led to the cancelation of more traditional fundraisers. Both nonprofits said they were incredibly grateful for the support.

“We are 100% funded off the generosity of people like [Egeler], who are touched by our story and what we do and just want to see these dogs have a better life,” said Kerry McLaughlin, vice president of Bark Nation.

Bark Nation, which rescues and rehabilitates dogs from dogfighting, said on its website that its mission is simple: “to end canine cruelty and save lives.”

Waggin’ Tails Dog Rescue, a local volunteer-run adoption agency, is also reliant on the generosity of community members like Egeler for its continued support.

“We are completely foster-based so all of the dogs that come into our organization go directly to the homes of our fosters,” said Cathy Cohn, of Waggin’s Tails Dog Rescue.

Egeler created a website called Waggin Bark Race -- to honor both nonprofits -- where people can donate and track him as he completes his nearly 105-mile trek.

Following the extraordinary feat, Egeler challenged others: “I challenge people out there to think of great things they can do and fight to work to get it done.”