I fell in love with distance running in 2010 while training for my first marathon as a member of Team In Training, raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Since then, I have completed five full marathons and one ultra-marathon (49K). I started getting into mountain running in 2016, and aspire to run some mountain races here in Alaska, including Mount Marathon in Seward!
LLS became very personal for me last year when I was fighting for my life. I started feeling sick in March 2016 having fevers daily reaching 105+ and underwent multiple biopsies, surgeries, labs, and some misdiagnoses. I went to Mayo Clinic and was finally diagnosed with lymphoma (diffuse large B-cell NHL stage 4 in my liver, spleen, and lymph nodes) and HLH (hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis) in September 2016 - I was 32.
I made it through months of chemotherapy, but I was so weak and knocked down I could hardly walk let alone think about running, but I remained positive and hopeful that one day I would be strong enough to get back out there on the trails. I recently got a clear scan and am in remission! I am working each day to improve my health and want to run as a SURVIVOR and in memory of my mom, Barbara Powell, who passed away suddenly in May 2017. She was by my side throughout my illness. My goal is to complete the Portland Half Marathon on October 8, 2017.
Going through such difficult times makes even the small accomplishments more rewarding. I am grateful to be here, alive, and have the support of family and friends. My body is still adjusting to life after cancer, and I am just trying to stay positive and keep going. Not out to set any records, my new goals are to help others and get some enjoyment out of each day being as active as I can .