Buddy Check 3: Springfield teen unicycles for world record to help breast cancer patients

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 10:12 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A Springfield teenager is making a run at a new Guinness World Record.

In August, Jonah Swann will be riding his unicycle and solving hundreds of Rubik’s Cubes to help raise money for breast cancer patients in the Ozarks.

The 17-year-old Central High School senior says it was a random thing he got into when he started riding the unicycle at 12. A year later, Jonah says he decided to master the Rubik’s Cube. It was like a plan that came together for Jonah, who had always wanted to set a world record. Jonah describes the world-record ambition as a childhood dream.

But dreams can take a lot of work. Jonah says he’s crashed a lot.

He said, “I actually don’t wear a helmet when I unicycle because the way you fall is down onto your feet. But I’ve taken a few hard falls. And it’s kind of hard because when you’re solving a Rubik’s Cube while unicycling, you are looking at the Rubik’s Cube, and you’re trying to not pay attention to anything else.

Jonah went on, “I think why it’s become pretty easy for me is because the unicycle has become second nature. So I’m able to kind of with peripheral vision, just kind of similar to driving solve the Rubik’s Cube while I’m doing it and then occasionally look up.”

But recently, Jonah realized he wanted more than just the thrill of breaking a world record. He wanted his hard work to make a bigger difference. So when a friend suggested Jonah’s record-breaking attempt should be a fundraiser, Jonah knew what he wanted to do.

He says, “the reason why I chose Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, specifically it was because of my grandmother, Shirley Wirts died at 50 years old of breast cancer. And so to be able to like donate and just give back to a charity that really helps support families affected by breast cancer was really meaningful to me.”

The Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks is thrilled to have Jonah’s help. According to BCFO’s CEO Joe Daues, “this is the same thing we do with Buddy Check Three. The more we have the word out there...free mammograms and talk to your buddy and breast health all that, then we’re helping save lives. Jonah is helping us do that.”

Jonah’s big record-breaking performance is coming here in August at Big Shots in Springfield. He expects to solve about 450 Rubik’s Cubes while unicycling. That’s 150 more than the current record. Between now and then, Jonah has a team of friends launching a social media campaign where you can donate before, during, and after his official attempt to break the world record.

For Jonah, all the training and the event have become a labor of love in honor of a loved one he lost to breast cancer before he was born.

Jonah says, “honestly, to me, it’s just a really cool opportunity to be able to give back.” Jonah’s goal is to raise $50,000 for the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, money that will help troubleshoot breast cancer through mammograms and early testing and help families affected physically and financially by the disease.

Don’t forget to sign up for our Buddy Check 3 program, where we remind each other on the third of each month to practice self-exams and other medical guidelines to catch breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. CLICK HERE to sign up.

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