Breast Cancer Survivor to Run Half Marathon to Advocate for Early Detection

Heather Appel fits her training in for the upcoming Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon on Oct. 20 by riding her bike 1-2 times a week from her home in Worthington to the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, where she is currently undergoing radiation treatments for her early stage breast cancer that was diagnosed on May 2, 2013.

“That’s 25 miles roundtrip!” Heather added.

Getting her through those miles is the thought that her diagnosis will not slow her down, literally.

“Beating cancer and proving that it will not stop me from living my life and providing hope and inspiration to those fighting this disease keeps me going,” Heather said.

Heather at the 2012 Marathon.
Heather at the 2012 Marathon.

She will be running the half marathon in October as part of the Marathon for the Cure team, but is no stranger to long distances.
“I ran my first half marathon in January 2010 and have been running since! I have finished five half marathons and ran the Columbus Marathon in 2012.”

Heather’s diagnosis, as well as a friend’s battle with breast cancer, motivated her to join the Marathon for the Cure Team.

“I turned 40 the end of March and had a good friend that I have known since childhood who was diagnosed with breast cancer in early April. I went right away to get my mammogram and ended up getting diagnosed myself. Luckily for me my tumor was caught early and was very small. It had not invaded the lymph nodes and I didn’t have to go through chemotherapy. I had a lumpectomy in May and will be finished with my radiation treatments the end of August. I decided the only way to raise awareness to the importance of routine mammograms and early diagnosis is to talk about my story and raise money for the Komen foundation and other breast cancer foundations.”

And raise money she has! Heather decided to set her fundraising goal at $500, but has already raised more than $2,000!

We can’t wait to cheer Heather on at the Columbus Marathon on October 20 and invite you to join her as part of the Marathon for the Cure team. More information is available here.