A half marathon is a challenging goal for anyone. Several members of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Runners for Research team endured an extra challenge: battling cancer as they trained for the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, set to take place Saturday, October 31. The AACR is the charity partner for the event.
Runners for Research is an ongoing initiative at the AACR that supports runners (including staff members, friends, and cancer survivors) as they raise donations to support cancer research, and works to increase awareness of the ways research has fueled progress against cancer.
More than 250 Runners for Research team members will run the 13.1-mile course in Philadelphia. They’ve been inspired by the persistence and grit of several team members who have fought cancer. One of them, Lynn Seuberling of Royersford, Pennsylvania, sees running as a celebration of her life without cancer.
Seuberling was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma in 2013. She had always been fit and healthy, so her diagnosis shocked her. Treatment left her physically and emotionally shattered. Exercise took a back seat.
Before long, though, she began walking, and found that exercise boosted her mood and helped her regain strength. Eventually, she resumed running. She completed 16 rounds of chemotherapy, then, 45 days after her last treatment, ran the Broad Street Run, a 10-mile race through Philadelphia.
Joining the Runners for Research team helped motivate Seuberling to keep on running.
“Cancer is not my life anymore, but it’s a friendly reminder to live life to the fullest, and make each day count,” she said.
The Runners for Research team set an ambitious fundraising goal for this race: $100,000. To spur team members toward their goal, the AACR offered prizes to the top fundraisers (male and female), and those who wear the best costume (individual, couple, and team).
The AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon is one of many AACR initiatives to raise money to fund innovative, meritorious research to prevent and cure cancer. In 2014, the AACR provided more than $8.2 million in research grants, for a total of more than $230 million provided since 2001.
“It is our mission to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration,” said Mitch Stoller, executive director of the AACR Foundation. “We couldn’t think of a better partner than the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, and its base of health-centric participants and spectators, to all beat cancer together.”
Seuberling isn’t the only Runners for Research team member whose life has been touched by cancer. Some have survived the disease, and most have been affected by a close friend or family member’s experience with cancer. These struggles provided motivation through many miles of training.
“I run for me, as a reminder of how far I’ve come, and for those battling cancer who cannot run,” said Seuberling.
Interested in supporting the AACR’s Runners for Research team? Please visit our fundraising page.
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