More than a decade ago, BethAnn Telford was diagnosed with brain cancer. On Monday, she’ll set off on the first of seven marathons she plans to run on seven continents in seven days.
In 2004, Telford got the first sign of the tumor in her brain during the Marine Corps Marathon.
“Mile 19 and I felt a huge pop in my head, almost like going up in a plane,” Telford told Fox 5 NY. “The hardest thing in my life so far was telling my parents that their child was probably going to die from brain cancer.”
She’s undergone several brain surgeries and re-learned how to talk and walk again before jogging and then running.
“I’m blind in my left eye,” she told the news station. “I have not driven in the last 12 years because I seizure. I also have a major issue with my bladder. Due to my brain cancer, my bladder shut down several years ago.”
Additionally, since Telford uses a catheter, she’s more concerned with bathroom breaks than the long distances.
With those challenges, Telford will first start her 183 miles of running in the World Marathon Challenge, organized by Global Running Adventures, by flying from Chile to Antarctica to run on January 23. The Challenge then travels to Chile, Miami, Madrid, Marrakech, Dubai and ends in Sydney on January 29.
By the end of her adventure, Telford will have traveled 60 hours by plane.
Telford plans to wear 14 pairs of sneakers designed by pediatric cancer patients.
“I just have to look down or remember all these kids that I have been blessed to come in contact with and know that is what this is all about,” Telford told Fox 5 NY. “It is not me traveling the world. It is not me proving I can do this. It is we need to find a cure.”