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I started running with TNT in 2013 after my nephew died from leukemia. I had to do something because there was nothing to do. Fundraising gave my running a purpose other than just running for myself. In 2014, I got diagnosed with leukemia. When I got my cancer diagnosis, I knew exactly who to call. It was time to link up with TNT again and do another race. Fundraising helped get me through treatments — it gave me something good to focus on. With leukemia, you don’t ever get a cure. You hope for long-term remission. And in the meantime, I’m scoping out my next race. I do better when I train. I feel better mentally. I feel better physically. I ran a whole pile of races through chemo because that’s just me. My doctor said I’m probably the healthiest chemo patient he knows, and that he knows plenty of people not in chemo who aren’t as healthy as you. Running is my outlet for everything. It’s how I sort everything out. Put your running shoes on and work out all life’s stresses, just run. In 2014, my mom died from complications of Alzheimers. I work full-time and have three kids and run a house — running saved my sanity. I could not survive my mother’s diagnosis and her being sick without it. My best races came after my life’s most traumatic things. There’s not many finish lines I cross where I’m not crying. I think when you’re running for something other than yourself the running means more. It’s morphed into something special for me. I’m running for all those people who can’t run. And to the runners reading this, reading my story — I know fundraising is daunting. But this is our time. Let’s band together — as runners — and help those who need it, because we can.

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2015 ISSUE 06

AT LAVAMAN IN HAWAII, PARTICIPATING WITH TEAM IN TRAINING. PHOTO COURTESY OF LORI CHRISTOPHER. RIGHT: KEVIN VAN PAASSEN

LORI CHRISTOPHER FOR TNT

iRun ISSUE06 2016  

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