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Cancer survivors to run portion of Charleston marathon

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“I’m definitely not a runner.”

That’s what Jenna Baskin said when asked about her plan to run in Saturday’s Shrimp n’ Grits 5K, which is part of the 2019 Charleston Marathon. She’s one of 21 cancer survivors planning to finish the 5K on Saturday.

“Being able to get out here every week and being able to run every week feels good,” she admitted. The group is called Cancer to 5K, part of the Ulman Foundation, which works to support young adults diagnosed with various types of cancer.

“I actually have plans to keep running after this is over,” said Tiffany Anselmo, a survivor of thyroid cancer. She says life is different than before.

Baskin was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27, which eventually led her to Cancer to 5K. The group trains for 12 weeks with the ultimate goal of finishing a 5K.

“We’re really helping them take their body back after cancer,” said Meredith Hughes, one of the group’s coaches. “A lot of our survivors have never run three miles in their life, so Saturday will be a huge accomplishment for them.”

“My twin sister is a young adult cancer survivor, stage four,” said Katherine Brown, who also helps coach the group. Brown does not have cancer, but says she’ll cross the finish line just behind her sister during Saturday’s race.

“I wish I would beat her there to see it happen, but I can’t wait. I’m excited for her. I’ll be right behind her,” she said.

“I did not know there was so many people that knew what I was going through,” Anselmo said of her friends and fellow cancer survivors.

She and Jenna Baskin both say it’s ultimately about the community they’re a part of.

“They kind of know what I’m going thru and the difficulties of learning how to run,” Baskin said. “Now that we’re at the end I feel like I’ve made big improvements. It’s been amazing.”

To learn more about becoming a sherpa or donating to Cancer to 5K or the Ulman Fund, head here.

You can find details on the Shrimp n’ Grits 5K and Charleston Marathon here.

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