Sabrina Simpson ran her first half-marathon at the age of 9, and she’s been running for charities ever since. Now 15 years old, Sabrina is AICR’s Cancer FIghter of the Month. Last month, AICR staff member Chelsea went down to North Carolina to cheer on Sabrina in her triathlon for Team AICR and give her family a tour of the Marilyn Gentry labs at University of North Carolina. Here, Sabrina tells us why she runs for charities and how she keeps going.
Q: First, how did you do in your triathlon?
A: Pretty well! I was a bit disappointed that I received 4th place in the 16 to 18 age group even though I am still 15 until September 14th. But apparently they base your age group by birth year only so I was placed in the 16-year-old category. Otherwise, I would have been in 1st place! I had loads of fun though, which is really what matters.
Q: Why did you want to give your donations to AICR?
A: Ever since I started raising money through racing, I wanted to contribute to cancer research. I’ve had multiple friends and family members die from cancer, and I’ve always wanted to somehow help to find a cure for it and help people prevent it. AICR was just so supportive and helpful that I decided the money would be best used if it were in their hands.
Q: I know your entire family does events to support various charities. Is that what inspired you to start running to raise money for cancer?
A: Well, my mother is actually the one who suggested that I run races in order to raise money. I have been running ever since I was little, so it just made sense to run to raise money. My mother has always taught us the gift of giving, so every year my little sister and I would raise money for charity as a gift to my mother for her birthday. Either running or doing a triathlon requires 1) setting a goal, 2) training and working hard toward the goal, and 3) thinking about the reason why we are training, which helps us to not give up when things get tough.
Q: This is your 11th Annual Challenge to raise money for charity. What kinds of events were you doing before you became involved with AICR?
A: The events that I was involved in before AICR were basically running in long distance events. I actually ran my first half marathon at the age of 9, and I’ve increased the distance that I run every year. For my challenge in 2010 when I was in 8th grade, I ran 18 miles in England to raise money for Cancer Research UK, for the leukemia and lymphoma unit. After that I decided to switch it up, so now I’m doing triathlons.
Q: You seemed to really like touring the labs at University of North Carolina, what did you like about it?
A: It was really interesting to see all the equipment that the researchers worked with. I’ve got to say my favorite bit was seeing the really expensive machine that used water to shoot an individual cell at a substance to see how it would react. That was pretty awesome, considering my chemistry teacher didn’t even know such technology exists!
To help Sabrina meet her goal, you can visit her page here.
For information on joining Team AICR, visit our Events section.