Mom Running 18 Half Marathons for Her Daughter
Valley View woman runs Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas to celebrate her daughter’s cancer survival
“I see new runners who I like to encourage along the way,” she said, calling herself a chatty Kathy on the course. “Once I ran alongside a woman who’s t-shirt said she was running in honor of her mom, a cancer survivor, and I told her how proud her mom would be of her that day.”
Kristy should know. She is running her 18 marathons to commemorate her daughter’s cancer survival; it’ll be one marathon for every round of chemotherapy she endured as a teenager. Her daughter, Kelcey, is now 19 and a college student at NCTC in Gainesville, and will be Kristy’s loudest cheerleader at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon on Sunday, March 24th – her 9th race, and the half-way point in her journey.
Kristy is running as part of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training – she wears her purple jersey to every race, which incites cheers along the way. She has already raised more than $10,000 for cancer research and patient services; her involvement began soon after her daughter got well.
She was not an athlete when she began running with the team. But after nearly two years of watching her daughter struggle through chemotherapy, she was determined to do something to give back.
“I said to myself, ‘now is the time for me to help the next family,’ she said. “Fighting lymphoma was a life-changing experience for us, and it strengthened our whole family. I praise God we made it through. We never had any doubts, but you hold your breath until treatment is done, and then remission is a great sigh of relief,” she added. “I run for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society so no other 14 year old has to go through it.”
Now, Kristy says she’s hooked and will be a life-long runner. “I’ve made friendships on the team that are so rich,” she said, “the coaches are inspiring and I love being a mentor to new runners.”
“There is always a point, however, when my legs get tired and I’m slowing down and not sure the end is in sight. The one thing that pulls me through is thinking about my little girl,” she said. “I think ‘this isn’t hard, this is nothing compared to what she went through. My best friend on the team is a survivor, and so is our coach. Their stories are so inspiring to me that suddenly I’m not worried about my legs anymore. My legs are irrelevant.”
It’s all part of taking it all in.
About Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas
A Competitor event, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon is set for Sunday, March 24, 2013. The race features live bands and cheerleaders interspersed with themed water stations along each mile of the scenic course. A free two-day Health & Fitness Expo kicks off race weekend, featuring more than one hundred fitness retailers, exhibits, free samples and interactive clinics. The event concludes Sunday afternoon with a finish line celebration and headlining performance by Andy Grammer at Fair Park. For more information about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon, please visit Competitor.com or follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training is an endurance sport training program that prepares thousands of participants annually for marathons and half marathons runs, triathlons and century rides. Since 1988, 570,000 participants have raised more than $1.3 billion to help LLS fund research and support patients through treatment. As the largest private funder of blood cancer research, LLS focuses its research grants on today’s most promising advances that have seen breakthrough results, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Team In Training recruitment gets underway this month for the fall endurance events including marathons in Chicago, San Francisco and Fort Worth, Nation’s Triathlon in Washington, D.C., and a century ride in Las Vegas, http://www.teamintraining.org/ntx