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Former NHL star enters his first marathon to help kids in Africa

October 8, 2012

Former NHL star Jim Nill will run his very first marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Sunday to raise money for water projects in Africa. Inspired by his wife’s battle with cancer, Jim Nill is joining 1,600 runners from Team World Vision to help provide clean water to children living in extreme poverty in Kenya and South Sudan. Nill and as many as 275 fellow runners from his Detroit-area Northridge Church will run the 26.2 mile course.

Jim Nill played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1988 to 1991. His wife, Bekki was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in May, 2011. Bekki had hoped to run the marathon with her husband. She will instead drive with him to Chicago as moral, emotional and spiritual support.

Important Dates: Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Media outlets: Detroit, national hockey outlets (Hockey News, Sports Illustrated, USA Today)

Spokesperson: Jim Nill (available for interviews – en route Friday to Chicago – driving)

Presentation: link to WXYZ (Detroit) TV news story:

http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/nill-family-fights-cancer-gives-back-to-kids#86464756-1

Local media (community paper) coverage:

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2012/09/red_wings_assistant_gm_jim_nil.html

Recommended Twitter posts:

Jim Nill, Former NHL star runs first marathon (Chicago) Sun to help kids in Africa, inspired by wife who’s battling cancer. @WorldVisionNews

Former Det Red Wings star Jim Nills enters first-ever marathon Sun in Chicago. Inspired by wife, Bekki, who’s battling @WorldVisionNews

Former NHL star Jim Nills & many other first-time marathoners to enter Chic Marathon Sun @WorldVisionNews

Extra Notes:

Bekki Nill was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in May of 2011. She already beat breast cancer 12 years ago.  This time the cancer is more severe and Bekki says she is comfortable not knowing what the next day holds. “I have that peace knowing that God is in control. I know I could die at any moment.” Bekki has always been a person to take on a challenge. So, one day during a chemo treatment she decided to run a marathon to help kids.  She signed up with an organization called World Vision. They build water-wells in countries like Africa to provide people with clean water for their villages. Upon hearing that Bekki was involved, her husband Jim signed up and they began to train and collect pledges for the October 7 run in Chicago.

However, about four months ago, Bekki’s chemo changed and running became unbearable. It ended her marathon training, but Jim kept running for Bekki and the kids.

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