Team AICR’s Teen Triathlete

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. Continue reading


Goofy and Inspiring: AICR Cancer Fighters of the Month

Gordon, Sarah (TeamAICR Coordinator) and Sam after the marathon

We’ve had many dynamic and inspirational runners on TeamAICR over the years, but we’ve never had a pair quite like the Big Sur International Marathon duo of cancer survivor Gordon McGill and his trainer, Sam Ditzell.  Their enthusiasm, candor, commitment, sense of humor, and above all, their deep friendship, are truly inspiring. They are also May’s Cancer Fighters of the Month.

Sam and Gordon met in 2008 when Sam helped Gordon and his wife train for the New York City Marathon.  After completing the marathon, Gordon continued working with Sam in the hopes of training for another race.

However, in 2009 Gordon was diagnosed with bladder cancer and endured multiple rounds of surgery and chemotherapy. Throughout his treatment he continued to train with Sam. “Some days Gordon couldn’t even get out of bed during the chemo, but he still only missed a couple of workouts,”  Sam remembers. “More than physical determination, Gordon managed to maintain such a positive, goofy, almost child-like attitude throughout his treatment.” Continue reading