When BethAnn Telford was just 35 years old, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She’d been in the middle of running the Marine Corps Marathon when she heard a loud pop in her brain, “almost like going up in a plane,” she said.
But even after the disconcerting moment, Telford was able to finish the last seven miles of the race, so she thought nothing more of it.
On the following Monday, Telford began to feel a little odd. She was incredibly distracted and was having trouble remembering people’s names and the day of the week. When she got lost on her way to the bathroom at work, her boss finally advised her to go home and see a doctor.
Telford’s MRI finally revealed the truth: She had a brain tumor. It was a symptom of brain cancer.
She kept the news mum for another six months, fearing that it would upset her family since she couldn’t guarantee how much time she had left with them.
But even in her silence, Telford began her medical treatment. The next year, she underwent surgery to have the tumor removed – but then she developed a whole new set of symptoms.
“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," she said.
In the face of all these complications though, Telford refused to bend, "I am not the one to sit back and watch myself deteriorate."
And just five months after that operation, Telford was back to running.
Her first marathon post-op was the exact marathon before she’d gotten diagnosed, and she’s run it every year since.
Now, 12 years after Telford’s diagnosis, she’s embarking on an even greater journey: completing the World Marathon Challenge, an endeavor that has contestants running seven marathons in seven days – on all seven continents.
But this marathon, Telford isn’t just doing for herself. She’s also partnered with Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure to raise money for cancer research to help other cancer patients – like children – in need.
"We need this funding for these kids," Telford explained. “My finish line isn't sitting at the end of the line of this big, epic event. My finish line is when someone announces there is a cure."
You can donate to help Telford’s inspiring cause here.