Iditarod Ride-Along for 7-Year-Old Jens!

Jens and his dad on a dogsled at the start of the IditarodSeven year old and Ronald McDonald House at ANMC resident Jens was whisked through the streets of Anchorage by dogsled for the opening day of the Iditarod! Thanks to a donation from Donlin Gold, Jens rode along for the race’s opening 11 miles.

Jens’ father, Dean, says his son had a great time meeting mushers and their dogs. Since the family is from Nome, where the Iditarod finishes, they are all fans, especially Jens. “He got to meet some big name mushers, including Dee Dee Jonrowe, a female musher, who recently fought cancer herself. She told him, ‘Don’t give up little guy! If I can do it, you can do it.’ It was so great for Jens to hear that.” Jens also hung out with Hugh Neff, known as the Gypsy Musher, who autographed a copy of his book for Jens. The book tells Neff’s stories from the trail from the point of view of his dogs!

“The House was so accommodating,” says Dean. “We realized that Jens would need another pair of snowpants and gloves, and they went above and beyond to help us out. It definitely made all the difference with the cold weather!” The family will be staying at the Ronald McDonald House while Jens gets treatment for neuroblastoma.