One of the things that prevent people from engaging in sports and other physical activities is their physical health. Sick people tend to avoid being too physically active because they easily get tired or consider themselves too ill.
A cancer survivor, however, embraced running marathons after she was diagnosed of cancer. 53-year-old Helene Neville, who worked as nurse for 29 years before she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in the 1990s, said she actually started running marathons after her diagnosis despite that her medical condition had her undergo three brain surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy.
"When they said I wasn't going to get better, my immune system was shot, I went home and signed up for the Chicago Marathon," Neville shared.
Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of cancer that originated from white blood cells known as lymphocytes, which are part of the body's immune system. The condition is characterized by the lymphocytes growing abnormally and spreading beyond the lymphatic system eventually compromising the body's ability to fight infection. Symptoms of Hodgkin's lymphoma include swelling of the lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, night sweat, coughing, chest pain, itching and unexplained weight loss.
In 2010, Neville ran 2,520 miles from Ocean Beach, California to Florida in 93 days under the heat of the summer sun and last year, ran for 45 days from the Canadian border to the Mexican border which covers 1,500 miles. On Sunday, Neville yet again completed another run covering 2,000 miles from Atlantic Beach, Florida to Portland Maine finishing the third leg of her 10,000-mile trek around the perimeter of the of the U.S.
Neville said that the third leg of her run, which she started 68 days ago, was the most difficult journey she had so far because the trek was hilly but she said she kept moving even when she felt tired. During this Florida-to Maine run, Neville stopped in Philadelphia so she could place her brother's ashes, which she had brought along with her in an urn, in the grave of their maternal grandparents. She also visited schools, hospitals and fire departments after her daily run.
"I feel fantastic except for the blisters and sore feet," Neville said. "I did the run ahead of schedule - one day as many as 60 miles but others the normal 25 miles per day."
Neville, who has two sons, Steven and Danny, and a grandchild named Emma, is on remission and plans to complete the last leg of her run by next year.