Forty-year-old Louie Sangalang is ready to take on another extreme challenge in his life

Photo courtesy of FWD Philippines

Mixed martial artist, boxer, triathlon, and proud cancer survivor Louie Sangalang, 40, will brave the Arctic terrain of the world’s coolest marathon scheduled on Apr. 9 alongside nine other FWD-sponsored Asian runners ready to take on the 42-kilometer course with an average temperature of -30 degrees Celsius.

Sangalang was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix when he was 21 but turned to sports and eventually recovered successfully. He has been in remission since 2000.

“I want to inspire my fellow Filipinos with my story. This is why I’m running. I want them to feel empowered, that despite the many challenges that life throws, you can come back better and stronger with the right attitude.”

“Louie’s resilience in overcoming life’s challenges is one trait that resonates with Filipinos and this made him the perfect choice to represent the Philippines in the marathon,” says FDW Life Philippines president and CEO Peter Grimes.

To help Sangalang, a North Pole Marathon squad was also formed to support his mental, physical, and emotional preparations. The squad is composed of triathlon icon Ani De Leon-Brown who will collaborate with his personal trainer and coach Ige Lopez for Sangalang’s physical preparedness; mountain climber Romi Garduce who will share his insights on surviving extreme weather conditions; Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and son Benjamin who will provide emotional support and motivation; and sports enthusiast Sam YG who will keep the rigorous training lighthearted and funny.