HEy, I'm Leah.
I'm not a fan of cancer.
But I am a fan of running.
I started running 13 years ago - around the same time that my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer - the most advanced stage you can get. I started running for all the usual reasons - to lose weight, to get out of my own head, and to try and forget that my mom was just diagnosed with this deadly disease.
I started running 5Ks and then 10Ks and then half marathons. As my running career and my mother's fight with cancer both progressed, I ran longer and longer distances. It was about two years ago when my mother's cancer traveled to her brain and she had to have an immediate brain surgery to remove a twinkie-sized tumor. Being the fighter that my mother is, she of course lived to fight her battle with cancer another day, without a twinkie-tumor in her brain.And I decided to run my first marathon and dedicate those 26.2 miles to my mother's ongoing battle with cancer. I raised money for a local organization that provides free services for cancer patients and their families and after completing my first 26.2 and raising $4,000+ for The Gathering Place, I was hooked.
Now, it's my goal to raise $30,000 by the time I'm 30 (I'm currently 26) for cancer related organizations both locally and nationally by running marathons. I've raised about $7K total over the last two years but I'm hoping that 2018 will be a big year for me.
My plan is to run both The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and the Chicago Marathon and raise money for Bright Pink, an organization that helps teach young women about breast and ovarian cancer prevention.
It is my hope that one day, women across the country will have the preventative tools and will take every measure possible to help reduce their risk of this disease.