Indiana Man Faces Test of Endurance for Kids with Cancer

2 min read
Aug 30, 2023 4:16:27 PM


INDIANAPOLIS, IND – [May 10, 2022] – From the surface, Dirk Pauley is an Indiana family man who enjoys staying active. But to those who know him, especially kids and families supported by Pinky Swear Foundation, Dirk is a superhero.

Pauley has run in dozens of events across the country, and in 2017, he started running for a new reason. Five years ago, Pauley heard about Pinky Swear Foundation, fell in love with the mission of supporting kids with cancer (All-Stars) and their families, and started racing with the Pinky Swear logo on his chest and kids with cancer in his heart. And in October, he’s taking that passion with him to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

“I race so that others can find hope,” said Pauley. “Hope that they can, one day, live a life where hospitals and oncologists are a thing of their past, and the bright smiles of children are their future.”

Pauley has raced nationally to support families financially by raising money through Ironman competitions. Pauley took his support to a new level and raised more than $3,000 during 2020; many races were cancelled, but he knew families were still hearing the words, “Your child has cancer,” every single day.

“It’s fundraisers like Dirk that makes this mission possible and helps families with a sick child feel like they’re not alone in their fight,” says Chloe Czaplewski, Pinky Swear Foundation community fundraising manager. “It’s the truest example of a person using their passions to support a worthy cause.”

All the funds Pauley has raised have gone toward donations to rent and mortgage payments, gas and grocery gift cards, utility bill and car payments, and hospital pantries for families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis. Each race, Pauley writes the name of an All-Star on his forearm. If he ever wants to give up, he looks at that child’s name on his arm and remembers they can’t give up, so neither can he.

Pauley has been featured across the nation for his incredible athletic accomplishments and his philanthropic heart. Check out the latest story covering his rise to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. Learn more about incredible fundraisers like Dirk and how you can be part of the mission by visiting Pinky Swear Foundation

Founded in 2003, Pinky Swear Foundation is a national 501c(3) nonprofit headquartered in Edina, MN passionately committed to helping children with cancer and their families with financial and emotional assistance. Pinky Swear Foundation activities include a variety of community engagement and fundraising events around the nation, raising more than $20 million to-date. To learn more, visit

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