When runners take their marks at the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia this coming weekend, several will be running for a cause close to our hearts: the AACR’s Runners for Research. Through Runners for Research, four ambassadors have made it their personal mission to help raise awareness and funds to support lifesaving cancer research by participating in the races. Here’s a look at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) ambassadors who will be running this weekend.
Sarah Happy was a two-time cancer survivor by the time she was 25 years old. She was diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 22, and once she was declared cancer-free 10 months later, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Despite being hit with two types of cancer within a two-year period, Sarah—who is now cancer-free—has a positive outlook and personality to match her last name. Sarah is a lawyer for Philadelphia firm Ballard Spahr. She recently got married and lives in South Philadelphia with her husband and two dogs, Hugo and Nancy. She is working with a trainer to help prepare her for running her first half marathon on Sunday. More on Sarah’s story:
Loriana Hernandez-Aldama was hoping to conceive a second child, and in early 2014, she had just begun fertility treatments when she learned the news that would change her life. On the day she was scheduled to have an embryo transfer, her doctor performed a precautionary blood test. Loriana was shocked when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and given only a 30 percent chance of survival. Loriana sought treatment at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore and today is cancer-free. Formerly a fitness reporter for the FOX affiliate in Austin, Texas, Loriana believes mental and physical health is directly linked to how the body performs during cancer treatments, and she challenges everyone fighting cancer to take positive steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Loriana will be participating in the 5K on Saturday. Meet Loriana:
Lianne Asbury lost three close friends and family members within a span of four years to different types of cancer. In 2012, a close friend’s mother died of glioblastoma. Then in 2013, she lost one of her closest friends to large B cell lymphoma, and in 2016, her father-in-law passed away from pancreatic cancer. Lianne recently learned about the AACR and decided immediately that she wanted to support lifesaving cancer research by becoming an ambassador for the Runners for Research team. To honor those she has lost to cancer, she is participating in the Finding Cures Challenge, which consists of running both the 5K on Saturday, and the half marathon on Sunday.
Yuhnis Sydnor greets everyone by saying “happiness,” and he brings that sunny disposition to his commitment to raising awareness of the AACR and cancer research. Yuhnis was born in West Philadelphia, and still resides there with his family. He believes that knowledge is power, and has always been very proactive when dealing with his health. This hands-on approach is how he found his prostate cancer early, and in doing so, saved his life. Yuhnis and his family will be participating in the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia by walking in the 5K on Saturday. Learn more of Yuhnis’ story here.
Join these AACR Runners for Research ambassadors and other cancer supporters at the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia on September 16 and 17, or support their teams. Not near Philadelphia? You can support the AACR by joining AACR Runners for Research events across the country; see our events calendar for more information.
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