Marie Ortiz of TeamAICR, winning races and running marathons to inspire others

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“You are running not just for yourself, you are running to make a difference in the lives of others,” says Marie Ortiz, who has run over 40 marathons since 2007 and in that time, she has battled breast cancer twice. This April, she will be running the London Marathon as part of TeamAICR. Here, Ortiz, a mother of four, shares her motivating story and why she has persistently strived over the years to run with TeamAICR.

What motivated you to start running marathons?

I ran in high school and college but after I had my first child in 1994, it was really hard for me to fit exercise in to my schedule. But, I resumed. Running was an activity where, at any given time, I could just put on my shoes and go for a run. My husband said, “you are always running and you are always doing these short little races and winning. Why don’t you challenge yourself a bit more and try doing a half or full marathon?” So, I signed up for a half marathon, and then a full marathon. I think my husband thought it was a one-and-done bucket list check off thing. But I thought to myself, wow, I really like this!

What led you to want to run with TeamAICR?

My diagnosis is the reason I signed up. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I thought it is very important for people to know to get their mammogram done and also to eat well and exercise. Cancer research is also very near and dear to my heart.

Did you keep running after the diagnosis?

Yes. All my doctors encouraged me to keep running to an extent while I was going through [treatment]. I was going through radiation when I was supposed to run the marathon with TeamAICR in 2013 but my doctors said I would be too worn out to train. There is a big difference between running 3-5 miles and 26.2 miles. Read more… “Marie Ortiz of TeamAICR, winning races and running marathons to inspire others”

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    Team AICR’s Teen Triathlete

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    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. Read more… “Team AICR’s Teen Triathlete”

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