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Kidde Hero of the Week: Rik Zortman


The Hero of the Week is brought to you by Kidde Worry-Free Alarms… Be a safety hero for your family. Begin by replacing outdated smoke alarms. Learn other simple steps at Kidde – Technology that saves lives. Find out how you can nominate a “Hero of the Week” at the bottom of the page.


Throughout the week, our ACC Team searches through emails and news articles looking for someone who deserves to be the Kidde Hero of the Week…

This week, we chose to recognize Rik Zortman as our Kidde Hero.

Back in September of last year, Rik started using his GPS while he ran to help navigate the streets in order to spell out the names of children who were in a battle with cancer. He would run the route and then print out that run that would show the child’s name. He would then send it to the family.

Now, Rik had started doing this by spelling out his own son’s name, “Armstrong,” who had lost his battle with brain cancer at just three years old. Rik turned to running to help with the grief and pain of his loss. From there, the idea of honoring other children was born.

Rik is currently serving in our military, stationed in Southwest Asia.

He wrote into the show to make a song request and shared his story, but, you know, we thought he deserves more than a song – he deserves to be this week’s Kidde Hero.

By running, he has spelled out over 450 names for children and their families in this country. And, it has helped in their journey to healing as much as it has helped Rik in his. And, for that, Rik, we salute you. Thank you for sharing your story and Armstrong’s story.

For more on this story, watch ESPN SC Featured:

Image: Rik Zortman


Nominate a Hero of the Week

Now, we want to know who has made a difference in your life. Nominate a local firefighter, police officer, EMT or someone who is serving our country in the military. It could even be a neighbor, family member or friend who lent a crucial helping hand. Let us know all about the person who you feel is a real life hero by emailing us here and please feel free to send us a picture!

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