By Emily Carlson

6:22 AM February 25, 2014 @emilyreporting

Mushers have raised more than $30,000 for four-time Iditarod champion

ANCHORAGE – The mushing community gathered around one of the most famous mushers of all time Monday night.

He’s won the Iditarod four times, but for all his fame and fortune Lance Mackey still can’t afford his medical bills.

Mackey’s girlfriend, Sabe Flores, was one of the headlining performers at Tap Root Public House. She played cello and several other bands jammed out in hopes of raising money for Mackey, a Fairbanks native.

Mackey was diagnosed with cancer back in 2001 and says he racked up more than $700,000 in medical bills because of a lack of health insurance.

In October, Mackey found out sepsis had formed in his gums. Doctors told him if they didn’t pull all his teeth he would die.

So far, mushers have raised more than $30,000; an amount the humble musher said he can hardly believe.

“I just want people to come out and say ‘hi’ and have an atmosphere they don’t have to chase me down the avenue in a quick hurry to sign something, I can take one-on-one time,” Mackey said. “We have a lot of people that want to support us in some way, these are donations that people have sent from all across the U.S. and to me that’s huge … another way to thank these people.”