LIFESTYLE

Brain Cancer Patient To Run Seven Marathons In Seven Days To Raise Money For Research

'My finish line is when someone announces there is a cure.'

23/01/2017 11:38 GMT

A brain cancer patient has pledged to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days to raise money for charity.

BethAnn Telford will be taking part in the World Marathon Challenge - a running event that covers 183.4 miles from 23-29 January. 

The 47-year-old has been left blind in one eye and suffers from seizures and incontinence due to the disease, but is determined not to let her symptoms defeat her.

She’s taking part in the event in order to raise funds for the research charity ABC² (Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure).

“My finish line isn’t sitting at the end of the line of this big, epic event,” she told CNN. “My finish line is when someone announces there is a cure.”

Telford was an avid runner before being diagnosed with brain cancer and first realised something wasn’t right with her health while running the Marine Corps Marathon in 2004.

With seven miles to go, Telford said she heard a “loud pop” in her head but decided to finish the race.

Over the next few days she felt increasingly unwell and began struggling to remember basic things, such as names and where the bathroom was.

After a trip to the doctors, Telford was given an MRI scan in hospital and was shocked to discover she had a brain tumour. 

Although surgeons were able to remove most of the tumour, the treatment led to a range of complications.

“I found out I could not have children. I lost sight in my left eye. I had to learn how to stand and walk again. I got seizures. My bladder shut down. I will have to self-catheter for the rest of my life,” Telford said. 

The athlete is still living with cancerous cells but is determined to do her part to find a cure for the disease.

She’s asking members of the public to make donations for each mile she completes, ranging from from 23 cents (18p) to $2 (£1.60) per mile.

So far she’s raised more than $800,000 (£640,000) towards her $1,000,000 target.

All pledgers will receive a pair of Defeat Brain Cancer Shoelaces, which they can take a photo of and share on social media with the hashtag #Selfeet to raise awareness of brain cancer.

To sponsor Telford during her marathon challenge, visit PledgeIt.

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