In May, Sarah finished half marathon no. 5 in beautiful Vail, CO – 13.1 miles in honor of a boy battling ependymoma. In her own words:
Altitude changes are always hard for a runner, but the Vail Valor was particularly difficult. Technically I knew what I was getting myself into after signing up to do 12 half marathons in 12 months, knowing that I would be living in both Rhode Island and Colorado during different parts of the year. However, after spending a couple months in Rhode Island, training lackadaisically during finals period, and then spending a week in Moab, UT learning how to rock-climb (details on First Descents in my next post!), my running muscles were feeling pretty lazy!
May happened to be brain cancer awareness month, and so I dedicated this half marathon accordingly. There are a few patients I met during my journey that stand out in the brain cancer realm. In particular, in my radiation clinic, I met a patient diagnosed with ependymoma. Or rather, I met the parents of a child diagnosed with ependymoma as they were being told that their son’s radiation would cause him to be deaf in one ear and would probably result in developmental delays. I was just a physician’s shadow, but the hopelessness on the father’s face was striking. It is very difficult to describe the desperateness of cancer treatment unless you’ve witnessed it first-hand. You go into treatment full throttle, receiving lists upon lists of side effects that you or your child or your aunt or your grandmother will experience. Ultimately, you know exactly what is going to happen to your body. There are very few mysteries regarding the mechanisms of the poisons and radiation that are thrown at us (with some notable exceptions). Knowing your son will probably be half-deaf following the treatment to save his life does not make it any better when it happens.
On an unrelated note, during this race I met a man who was running his 100th marathon—yeah, you read that right! His HUNDREDTH marathon. I struggle just running 12 HALF marathons in a year! Not only that, but he was running back to back marathons- he had just run another marathon the day before. I think that he said he was 70 years old. I envy his energy and ability, even though I am fifty years younger!
Psst! Sarah is almost halfway through running 12 half marathons in 12 months, but she needs YOUR HELP to get her halfway to her goal of raising $10,000 for childhood cancer research. Please give what you can here, and thank you for helping put cancer on the run!