We have a lot of amazing marathoners who are running The San Francisco Marathon for a cause. Check out the story below and find out how you can do good with your run.

 

Cara Heilmann, Orinda, CA

Running for: A Breath Away – Lung Cancer Research

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004. In our home in Laguna Hills, CA, with tears in his eyes, my husband asked, “Do you want to move back home?” Within 45-days we packed up our house, bundled-up our two small boys, jumped on a plane to Hawaii, and started immediately looking for new jobs. I cared for my mom along side my sister and dad for over a year before she died. It was the saddest day of my life.

On January 7, 2013, I took my first step as a runner. After 45 years of a sedentary life, I decided to take control and become a (hopefully) lean (in a good way) mean running machine. Not knowing what I was doing, I found a group to lead the way. I trained with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raised funds for blood cancer research. I finished 2:42 in the San Diego Rock & Roll Half Marathon. In 2013, I ran 3 more half marathons with a PR of 2:31–raising more than $4,100 for cancer research.

This year, I am running my first full marathon.

1383454_10202349502804065_1599905315_nI am very excited that I chose the San Francisco Marathon as my first marathon. I spent hours researching different races. I wanted a beautiful course, well supported race, well orchestrated group, and tons of adoring fans. There are many races that fit this criteria. But, the clincher for me was the ability to run and fund raise with team A Breath Away–lung cancer research.

My first marathon is dedicated to my mom. When I am at mile 17 when the fatigue sets in, I am going to remember how brave my mom was as she endured multiple needle sticks. When I am at mile 21 and don’t think I can continue on, I will remember how my mom bravely underwent many chemotherapy treatments. I’ll remember how she saved her hair in a shoe box. And the hat that she wore when all of her hair fell out. The look on her face when the doctors said that there’s nothing more we can do. For her, and for everyone who is diagnosed with this terrible disease and their family members, my marathon is for them. Run with me. Support the cause. Join me in ending cancer today!

GAMBATE! For Mom!