Pair raising cancer awareness on river

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 1999

Viktor and Erik Maklezow think rowing a 14-foot aluminum rowboat down the Mississippi River is easy. Easy, that is, compared to the struggles of Viktor’s granddaughter, 5-year-old Autumn Jenson, who has brain cancer.

&uot;Our trip is a cakewalk; it’s nothing compared to what my granddaughter has been on,&uot; Viktor said.

Viktor, of New Orleans, and Erik, of Wisconsin, began their trip Oct. 5 to raise awareness about Jenson’s disease and the American Brain Tumor Association. In the past year, Jenson has undergone several operations, chemotherapy and radiations.

Email newsletter signup

Although the cancer appears to have been eradicated from Jenson’s brain, she still suffers from side effects. She is paralyzed on one side of her face and has lung and neurological problems.

&uot;Basically the focus of the whole journey is to make people aware that brain tumors, as it is now, (are) on the rise,&uot;&160;Viktor said.

Viktor and Erik will cover more than 1,600 miles on the trip, sleeping most nights in a tent along the river bank.

Anyone interested in giving to ABTA and to Jenson and her mother, Katrina, can send money to ABTA/Katrina Jenson, 8001 107th Ave., Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 53158.

Half of the contributions go to the ABTA and the other half go towards paying the Jensons’ medical bills.