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Ice blocks local couple's SIDS fundraising journey in Canadian Arctic

John and Heather Kahan were traveling the Northwest Passage from Greenland to Nome, Alaska, when ice cut off their path. (Photo courtesy John Kahan)

PRINCE REGENT SOUND, Canada -- A local couple's quest to end Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ran into a roadblock: huge chunks of ice.

John and Heather Kahan were traveling the Northwest Passage from Greenland to Nome, Alaska, when ice cut off their path. John Kahan was taking photos to compile a picture book, with plans to sell it and raise money for SIDS research at Seattle Children's Hospital.

The ship first got stuck on Wednesday, August 29.

"Our ship tried to no avail to go on its own around and through the heavy ice," Kahan said.

He shared a picture showing the paths they tried taking before deciding to wait for a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker.

The Coast Guard was aware of the ship, but because they had plenty of food and water and were otherwise safe, Kahan says they were a low priority.

"They already broke a Russian ship free from grounding, saved few people after their sailboat sank and saved two Inuit who were floating on an Iceberg after their companion was killed by a polar bear," he said.

A week and a day after first getting stuck, an icebreaker reached them and got them on their way back to Greenland. The Kahans still plan to produce a book or photo note cards that can be sold, with 100% of the proceeds going to fund SIDS research, in honor of their son Aaron, who died from SIDS.

The Kahans have already raised around $750,000 for the cause, in part through two other photo books. Kahan also has the support of colleagues at Microsoft who help with both fundraising and research.



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